ILCUs Overview of Credit Union Figures ahead of Year End 2013

Media Release: 17 December 2013
ILCUs Overview of Credit Union Figures ahead of Year End 2013

ILCU LAUNCH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGN AND RESEARCH

Media Release: 11 December 2013
ILCU LAUNCH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGN AND RESEARCH

Statement by the ILCU in relation to Newbridge Credit Union

Media Release: 10 November 2013
Statement by the ILCU in relation to Newbridge Credit Union

The ‘Monster’ Schools Quiz is back!

Media Release: 11 November 2013
The ‘Monster’ Schools Quiz is back!

CUSOP receives Licence from the Central Bank of Ireland

Media Release: 06 November 2013
CUSOP receives Licence from the Central Bank of Ireland

McWilliams speaks on British and Irish Economies

Media Release: 14 October 2013
McWilliams speaks on British and Irish Economies

Credit Unions Tune Up For Success

Media Release: 10 October 2013
Credit Unions Tune Up For Success

Second ILCU What's Left Tracker of 2013

Media Release: 24 September 2013
Second ILCU What's Left Tracker of 2013

Irish Credit Unions Share Their Strength With Overseas Credit Union Leaders

Media Release: 11 September 2013
Irish Credit Unions Share Their Strength With Overseas Credit Union Leaders

Credit Unions Launch 2013 All Ireland Art Competition

Media Release: 02 September 2013
Credit Unions Launch 2013 All Ireland Art Competition

ILCU 2013 Third Level Education Survey

Media Release: 12 August 2013
ILCU 2013 Third Level Education Survey

ILCU publishes research on future outlook for the credit union movement

Media Release: 08 August 2013
IRISH LEAGUE OF CREDIT UNIONS PUBLISHES AMARACH RESEARCH PAPER ON MEMBER AND NON MEMBER ATTITUDES AND FUTURE OUTLOOK FOR THE IRISH MOVEMENT

ILCU Launch First ‘What’s Left’ Tracker of 2013

Media Release: 30 May 2013
ILCU Launch First ‘What’s Left’ Tracker of 2013

Launch of Annual GR8 Saver Week

Media Release: 06 May 2013
Launch of Annual GR8 Saver Week

The ILCU and UCC launch 'Pathways'

Media Release: 01 May 2013
THE ILCU AND UCC LAUNCH FIVE NEW QUALIFICATIONS ACROSS CERTIFICATE, DIPLOMA AND DEGREE LEADING TO MASTERS LEVEL FOR CREDIT UNION OFFICERS.

ALL IRELAND CREDIT UNION SCHOOLS QUIZ 2013

Media Release: 08 April 2013
ALL IRELAND CREDIT UNION SCHOOLS QUIZ 2013

Results of ILCU and Youth Work Ireland Teens & Money Survey

Media Release: 25 February 2013
Results of ILCU and Youth Work Ireland Teens & Money Survey

Gifted Artists Excel at the All Ireland Credit Union Art Competition

Media Release: 17 February 2013
Gifted Artists Excel at the All Ireland Credit Union Art Competition

Results Of The Final ILCU 2012 'What’s Left' Tracker

Media Release: 17 January 2013
Results Of The Final ILCU 2012 'What’s Left' Tracker

Results Of The Final ILCU 2012 'What’s Left' Tracker

61% of respondents say they have €100 or less left at the end of the month once essential bills are paid

1.59 million left with €50 or less at the end of the month once the essential bills have been paid.

56% of the adult population believe that the worst is yet to come in terms of financial hardship this year

BUDGET

The Budget has had a negative impact on the financial situation of 8 in 10 adults living in Ireland.

Property tax and PRSI contributions likely to have the most pronounced impact on the population

ENERGY COSTS

9 in 10 Irish people negatively impacted by increased energy costs

46% struggling to pay their household bills on time, slight drop on October 2012 figure of - 50%

41% have had to sacrifice spending on other household items like food to pay their energy bills.

MONEYLENDERS

17% of the population are aware of illegal moneylenders operating in their local area, a further 9% are aware of intimidation by moneylenders.

Read the real life stories on www.fixyourfinances.ie

  Financial expert Frank Conway gives final analysis on year long budget management project

 

The Irish league of Credit Unions (ILCU) has today published the results of the final 2012 ‘What’s Left’ tracker series. The independent tracker series has been running since the beginning of 2011 and has looked at the financial challenges that Irish people have been encountering as the economy moves through recession. The aim of the trackers has been to try and shift the national debate away from macro economic analysis to try and get a real sense of the type of hardships that ordinary people and their families are facing on a daily basis around the country.

In an effort to bring a real voice to the research, the ILCU launched the ‘Fix your Finances’ project in early 2012 and introduced four independent case studies to the nation, all of whom were facing varying financial challenges. For the final time, updated information and video diaries will be available on the Fix your Finances website www.fixyourfinances.ie. Our financial expert Frank Conway has also outlined his top money management tips for the year ahead as well as providing a final over view of each case study and their issues.

 

December 2012 ‘What’s Left’ Tracker Findings

Disposable Income

Since the ‘What’s Left’ tracker began in April 2011, disposable income has continued to fall for the majority of the population. In December 2012, 72% million people believed that their disposable income had fallen since December 2011. The most recent findings show that currently 1.59 million adults in Ireland now have only €50 or less at the end of the month once all essential bills have been paid. This clearly reflects the challenge that individuals and families have in making their household budgets stretch to cover essential day to day living.

There are a growing number of people who say that their disposable income is decreasing as prices rise and wages and social welfare benefits decrease. As mentioned, the December tracker figures indicate an increase in those with €50.

If we look specifically at working adults we can see in this category that there has been an increase in those in the €50 or less left category, the figure now stands at 267,000 an increase of 69,000 since October 2012

 

Money Left (ALL):

All Adults (12/2012)

Working Adults (12/2012)

None

20% (690,600)

15% (267,000)

<€20

10% (345,300)

9% (160,200)

€21-€50

16% (552,480)

15% (267,000)

€51-€100

15% (517,950)

14% (249,200)

€101-€150

9% (310,770)

9% (160,200)

€151-€200

7% (241,710)

8% (142,400)

€201-€250

4% (138,120)

5% (890,000)

€251-€300

4% (138,120)

6% (106,800)

€301-€350

3% (103,590)

3% (53,400)

€351-€400

3% (103,590)

3% (53,400)

€401-€500

2% (69,060)

4% (71,200)

€500+

7% (241,710)

9% (160,200)

 

The Budget

The survey respondents stated that the Budget has had a negative impact on their financial situation (8 in 10 Irish adults). 23% stated that their income and supports have taken a hit and that this will have a knock on effect on them and their families, 60% stated that they were anticipating the decisions made in the budget, stating that it will just be another year of struggle for them. 15% said the budget wasn’t as bad as they thought it was going to be and a further 2% said they won’t be impacted at all by the budget decisions.

Budget Issues

41% believe that the introduction of the property tax will have the most significant impact on them. Other areas that are also likely to have a marked impact on personal finances this year, include – the movement of the PRSI threshold (most significant impact for 19% of adults), increased car registration costs (most significant impact for 6% of adults) and the cut to child benefit (most significant impact stated by 9% of adults).

The areas of the budget that were of particular concern to the respondents were - not being able to pay household bills (28%), dealing with extra taxes (26%), the impact of the budget (14%), the property tax (12%, the increasing cost of utility bills (10%), the European economy (5%) and finding a job (5%). 8 in 10 adults fear that 2013 will be a tougher financial year than 2012.

 

 Impact of Key Budget Areas for 2013 (RANKING):

First

1. Introduction of Property tax

41%

2. Changes to PRSI contributions

19%

4. Child benefit cut

9%

3. Increased car registration

6%

7. Student registration increase

4%

8. Changes to pension entitlements

3%

5. Increase in threshold for drugs payment scheme

3%

8. Changes to pension entitlements

3%

6. Increased cost of alcohol and cigarettes

2%

8. Changes to pension entitlements

3%

9. Reductions in utility allowances for pensioners

2%

10. Changes to unemployment benefit cover

2%

11. Cut in back to school allowance

2%

12. Cut to school clothing and footwear allowance

2%

13. Cut to respite care

2%

14. Changes to carer allowances

2%

15. Changes to maternity benefit

1%

16. Removal of the reduced USC rate for 70s with >€60k

0%

 

In their own words ............

 

Savings

7 in 10 adults are unable to save money. Average monthly savings stand at €180 down from €200 in October 2012. Savings peaked in October 2011 at €210 per month.

 

Saving Each Month:

6/11

9/11

12/11

3/12

6/12

9/12

12/12

<€50

19%

14%

12%

13%

14%

9%

20%

€51-€100

15%

13%

18%

18%

16%

19%

14%

€101-€150

10%

10%

14%

14%

9%

11%

12%

€151-€200

9%

11%

11%

9%

16%

18%

14%

€201-€250

8%

11%

9%

9%

6%

7%

10%

€251-€300

7%

6%

9%

7%

11%

8%

6%

€301+

32%

35%

27%

30%

27%

29%

24%

Average:

€195

€210

€192

€197

€195

€200

€180

 

Bills and Energy Costs

In December 2012, groceries overtook utility bills as the second most expensive essential bill behind mortgage and rent. However, is due to increased spending on food around the Christmas period. Car related costs continue to increase steadily since April 2011, peaking in December 2012.

46% of consumers struggle to pay their bills on time; this represents a slight fall on the October 2012 figures but is on par with previous tracker rounds. 85% of adults are worried in some capacity about not paying their bills on time.

9 in 10 adults have been impacted by the increased energy prices. 4 in 10 adults were forced to reduce their energy consumption to save money on escalating bill costs.

(41%) of adults, at some point in 2012, were forced to sacrifice spending on other household items to pay their energy bills. Of that 41% - (34%) sacrificed spending on food, utilities (13%) clothing (9%), healthcare (5%) as well as non essential items like entertainment or socialising (25%)

 

In their own words.............

 

Of those that sacrificed (41%)

12/12

1. Buy cheaper / less food

34%

2. Entertainment / socialising

25%

3. Utilities

13%

4. Clothes

9%

5. Luxury Items

7%

6. Healthcare

5%

7. Reduce/Give up car

4%

8. Holidays

2%

9. Childcare

2%

 

 Moneylenders

The December 2012 findings show a growing awareness of moneylender activity in this country. Despite this awareness 5% of population regard moneylenders as a viable option for accessing credit. 17% are aware of money lending activity in their local area and a further 9% are aware of intimidation by moneylenders in their local area. 3% have been approached by a moneylender in their own homes. Irish adults are borrowing from moneylenders for a variety of reasons; the top four reasons were – to cover bills (50%), to pay for Christmas (25%), to pay rent (13%) and for medical expenses (12%).

 

Attitudes towards / Experience with Moneylenders

Yes

Aware of illegal moneylenders operating in local area

17%

Aware of intimidation by illegal moneylender in local area

9%

Approached by a moneylender in own home

3%

View moneylenders as a viable option for accessing credit

5%

 

In 2012, the ILCU called on the Government to put a legal cap on the interest rates charged by moneylenders in Ireland. No such cap currently exists but in practice, the ceiling is just below 190% APR. With the level of personal indebtedness and financial exclusion in Ireland, there is a real danger of compounding the problem by allowing legal moneylenders to charge excessive rates.

 

Sentiment

42% say they will have to manage their household budgets very closely in order to get by this year. 14% feel positive about their ability to cope financially throughout this year.

 

Disposable Income in 2013

12/12

I will be ok

14%

I should be ok but I will need to manage the household budget very closely

42%

I am very worried about how I will manage in 2013

27%

I will not be able to cope in 2013– I don’t know what to do

17%

 

Commenting on the latest round of the ‘What’s Left’ Tracker, ILCU CEO Kieron Brennan said “We are now 18 months into the ‘What’s Left’ tracker series and a number of trends have emerged very clearly in this time. Disposable income overall continues to decrease with 72% stating that they have less disposable income in December than they did in December 2011.

Irish people continue to be squeezed and many are simply continuing to struggle to survive on a daily basis. Many individuals and families are sacrificing spending on other household items including food so that they can keep on top of their bills.

One of the most worrying pieces of data emerging from the December tracker is the number of people who are aware of moneylenders operating in their community, the number who have been approached and very seriously the number of people who are aware of intimation by moneylenders. People are desperate – desperate to pay their bills, pay their rent and put food on the table and are turning to these people who in turn charge exorbitant rates of interest – usually those who enter into a money lending arrangement gets themselves into a vicious cycle of debt. We would seriously urge those contemplating using a moneylender to reconsider and approach their local credit union, MABS or Saint Vincent de Paul.

The December tracker also brings an end to our Fix your Finances project (www.fixyourfinances.ie) which ran throughout 2012. I want to say a huge thank to Frank Conway for his financial advice and all of the case studies who were brave enough to share their own personal experiences and struggles with us all. We wish them all the very best for the future.

 

Frank Conway of the Irish Financial review said: “The latest ‘What’s Left’ Tracker report clearly demonstrates the huge importance that personal financial budgeting now plays for all segments of Irish society. There is no escaping the tightening financial grip that has come about as a result of the ever-tightening financial straight jacket that families, retirees and students now face as a result of factors beyond their control.

Sticking to a strict regime of tracking, monitoring and adjusting personal spending is the only key to successfully managing ones personal finances through these very difficult times. In addition to strict budgeting, it is also important that families, students and retirees work to develop a financial nest-egg, if only to serve for such emergencies such as car or home repair and remain out of the clutches of expensive and even unscrupulous alternatives, such as money lenders.  Until a meaningful recovery returns to the Irish economy, diligent budgeting is the only means of financial security.

Research results highlights role and importance of CUs in Northern Ireland

Media Release: 09 August 2013
Research results highlights role and importance of CUs in Northern Ireland

Statement by the Irish League of Credit Unions

Media Release: 11 October 2013
Statement by the Irish League of Credit Unions