Over 1.5m people have €50 after bills - surveyFriday 18 January 2013 12.56
Over 1.5 million people have €50 or less left over at the end of the month after their essential bills have been paid, according to a survey.
The latest 'What's Left' Tracker by the Irish League of Credit Unions also found that 90% of people have been negatively impacted by high energy costs and that 40% fear the impact of the property tax.
This is the eighth tracker that has been carried out by the Irish League of Credit Unions since early 2011.
It shows the number of people with little or no disposable income is continuing to rise.
Nine out of ten people said that they have been negatively affected by rising energy costs.
More than three quarters of adults are worried about not being able to pay their bills on time.
However, there was a slight drop in the numbers saying they could not pay their bills.
More than 40% believe the introduction of a property tax will have a significant impact on them.
In what the credit unions describe as a worrying development, 17% of people were aware of moneylenders operating in their area.
However, only 5% believe they were a viable option for borrowing.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, ILCU CEO Kieron Brennan said the financial squeeze on households is extraordinarily high.
Mr Brennan said half of respondents cannot afford unexpected bills.
He said: "There's a huge number of people, nearly half of the population, who are in the position of not being able to pay their bills, they must decide what will I pay this month, what will I leave until next month.
"Unexpected items of expenditure, be it a visit to the GP, a car repair, replacing the clutch, washing machine breaks down, they just don't have that in their budget anymore."