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25 percent of single-parent households were behind on utility bills last year, new figures show

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According to a recent survey, one in six households consisting of an adult with children were “extremely struggling” to make ends meet in 2021.

Newly released figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) in 2021 show that one in four households made up of a single parent with children were also behind on utility bills in the past year.

The at-risk-of-poverty rate was 11.6 percent in 2021, compared to 13.2 percent in 2020. Without the income support from Covid-19, the at-risk-of-poverty rate would have been 19.9 percent in 2021, more than eight percentage points above the 11.6 percent rate .

Without the pandemic unemployment benefits, the at-risk-of-poverty rate would have been 16.5 percent and 15 percent without the wage subsidy schemes.

People most at risk of poverty last year were those who described themselves as “unable to work due to long-standing health problems” at 39.1 percent. The comparable rate for employed persons was 4.4 percent.

The at-risk-of-poverty rate for the unemployed was 23.2 percent, while without Covid-19 income supports it would have been 44.1 percent.

The at-risk-of-poverty rate for people living in one-adult households with children was 22.8 percent, compared to 37.2 percent without Covid-19 income support.

Commenting on today’s release, statistician Eva O’Regan said the survey is an official source of data on household and individual income.

“The SILC Household Survey provides a number of key national poverty indicators, such as at-risk-of-poverty rate, forced deprivation rate, and persistent poverty rate. Income and poverty estimates from SILC 2021 are calculated from calendar year 2020 income,” she said.

Analysis by age shows that Covid-19 income support had a greater impact on the at-risk-of-poverty rate of younger respondents.

The rate for people aged 0-17 was reduced by almost 11 per cent from 24.2 per cent without Covid-19 income support to 13.6 per cent.

For those aged 65 and over, Covid-19 income support reduced the at-risk-of-poverty rate from 13.0 percent to 11.9 percent.

The survey also found that 42 per cent of households in Ireland said they were struggling to make ends meet in 2021, compared with 46.5 per cent of households in 2020.

In 2021, 5.6 percent of households said they were having “great difficulty” making ends meet. Analysis by household composition shows that this rate is highest for households with one adult and one or more children under the age of 18 and lowest for households with two adults, at least one of whom is 65 years of age or older.

Average household disposable income in 2021 was €46,471, up 5.8 percent in 2020 to €43,915 – Disposable income would refer to household income minus taxes, employer social security contributions and pension contributions – but before closing any accounts.

The survey shows that 16.2 percent of households that pay rent said there was at least one occasion in the 12 months prior to the interview date when they did not pay their rent on time due to financial difficulties.

Of the owner-occupied households with an outstanding mortgage, 5.3 percent said they had failed to pay their mortgage on time at least once due to financial difficulties.

Of the 99.3 percent of households who reported paying utility bills, 7 percent reported having at least one instance of arrears on a utility bill due to financial difficulties in the 12 months prior to the interview.

The rate for households consisting of one adult and one or more children under the age of 18 was 25 percent.

Households were asked to rate their self-perceived difficulty in making ends meet, with the possible responses being: “with great difficulty”; ‘with difficulties’; ‘with some difficulty’; ‘quite easy’; ‘easy’; ‘very easy’.

https://www.independent.ie/news/25pc-of-single-parent-households-were-in-arrears-on-utility-bills-last-year-new-figures-show-41621023.html 25 percent of single-parent households were behind on utility bills last year, new figures show

Fry Electronics Team

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