New figures show that Irish households are in a better state than at any point over the past four years. 

A survey from the Irish League of Credit Unions suggests that 52% of those who took part believed their income level had either remained the same or improved. This is up from 36% last year.

But the survey showed that disposable income levels fell slightly from August, as there were increases in utility bills, transport costs, groceries and mobile phone and internet bills. 

This is the Irish League of Credit Unions' first "What's Left" tracker since Budget 2015 was published.

36% of those surveyed said they believe they will benefit from the Budget, while 44% believe it will have no impact at all on their family incomes.

On water charges, over eight out of 10 people surveyed for the tracker said their household finances will feel some sort of strain as a result of the new charge. 44% had registered for the water charges at the end of October, it noted.

The tracker shows that 483,000 people surveyed have nothing left at the end of the month after paying essential bills, down 1,000 since August and down 35,000 from the same time last year.

It also reveals that 1.76 million people have €100 or less left at the end of the month once all bills are paid, up 137,000 on the August figure of 1.623 million.

The research, which has been running since the beginning of 2011, is now in its fourth and final year.