A new survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions reveals that 47% of householders - more than 1.5m people - are left with €100 or less at the end of each month after paying essential bills.

The 'What's Left' disposable income tracker index was carried out last month among 1,000 respondents.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed have less disposable income than at this time last year, and marginally more say they are really worried about falling behind with their bill payments.

Almost half of motorists were found to be struggling with their car finances as a result of the increased cost of motoring - while one in five have switched to a smaller car to save money.

Of those surveyed, 9% are "likely" to give up private health insurance - with a further 31% likely to give it up if there are more increases in premiums.

Over two fifths of households stated that they had no intention of paying the Household Charge, the majority of them saying they will not pay as they cannot afford it.

Almost one in ten respondents revealed that they will not pay until they are threatened with legal action.