herald

Friday 13 December 2019

We have more money to spend, but 10pc can't afford a night out

Times are still tough
Times are still tough

Nearly one in five households could not afford to replace worn-out furniture, despite an increase in average disposable income in the past year.

New figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show household incomes have jumped by €1,783 over the past year.

Despite this, the statistics revealed 17.8pc of Irish households could not afford to replace worn furniture.

The figures also showed 11.7pc could not afford to have family or friends over for a drink or a meal once a month, while 10.3pc could not afford a morning, afternoon or evening out in the previous fortnight.

The figures were contained in the CSO survey on income and living conditions (SILC) for 2018.

The SILC is the official source of data on household and individual income and includes key indicators on those at risk of poverty and deprivation.

Findings showed an increase of 7.1pc in disposable income from €24,983 in 2017 to €26,766 last year.

CSO statistician Eva O'Regan said: "The key findings show that in 2018, the median annual household disposable income was €42,865, representing an increase of 8.5pc on the 2017 value of €39,499.

"Mean household disposable income increased 6.2pc from €48,476 in 2017 to €51,458 in 2018.

Differences

"Median equivalised income increased 9.6pc from €20,869 in 2017 to €22,872 in 2018.

Equivalised income is a measure of household income that takes account of the differences in household size and composition.

"Mean equivalised income increased 7.1pc from €24,983 in 2017 to €26,766 in 2018."

The survey also investigated the most common forms of deprivation Irish households experienced in 2018.

However, the SILC revealed that the rate of households living in consistent poverty - which includes those persons who are defined as being both at risk of poverty and who are also experiencing enforced deprivation - dropped by 1.1pc, with a decrease from 6.7pc in 2017 to 5.6pc last year.

"The survey provides an insight into poverty in Ireland," Ms Regan said. "The at risk of poverty rate, which is the share of persons whose equivalised income was less than 60pc of the national median equivalised income, was 14pc compared with 15.7pc in 2017.

"Enforced deprivation is defined as not being able to afford two or more deprivation indicators, such as keeping the home adequately warm or buying presents for family or friends at least once a year.

"The percentage of people who were considered to be experiencing enforced deprivation was 15.1pc, down from 18.8pc in 2017."

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