Ask the Audience: ‘I had to move back in with my parents as I couldn’t afford rent’
We asked the IMAGE audience their thoughts on the current situation, and how it’s affecting them and their families most.
It’s no secret that the country, and most of Europe, is in the midst of a serious cost-of-living crisis. Inflation is on the rise and the European Central Bank has today responded by increasing interest rates by 0.5 per cent, in its first rate hike since 2011.
Out of the 409 people that responded to our social media callout, 343 (84 per cent) said that they had been personally affected by the cost-of-living crisis, as opposed to 66 people (16 per cent) who said that it hadn’t affected them.
Amongst the most common things mentioned were:
*Increases in rent
Many said that they had had to move back in with their parents on account of rising rent prices. Another reader noted that they weren’t in a position to get divorced given the current financial climate. “Grocery bills are through the roof and diesel too now that I’m back in the office,” one reader commented. “The cost of living forced me to move home to my parents and change jobs,” a third agreed.
According to one newspaper, large numbers fear they will struggle to cope if food prices continue rising at the rate that they currently are. “Most people in this country consider the cost of groceries are unacceptably high,” The Irish Independent noted. Research from iReach Insights shows that almost half of adults think grocery prices are rising at rates that are multiples of official figures.
The survey also found that some 96 per cent of adults have seen a rise in the cost of groceries in the last month alone.
Fuel prices have also been of huge concern to IMAGE readers, especially in recent weeks. An AA Roadwatch survey published last month found that 80 per cent of motorists have been affected by rising fuel prices in Ireland – more than half of these “significantly affected”.
The poll of over 4,200 motorists reveals that 27 per cent of respondents spend more than €100 a month filling their petrol vehicle, while 34 per cent spend more than €100 a month filling their diesel vehicle. Petrol prices had increased by 11.5 per cent in the first two weeks of June alone, up from an average of €1.91 per litre to €2.13. This is 41 per cent more expensive than last year and 66 per cent more expensive than two years ago. Diesel is now 45 per cent more expensive than last year, jumping from €1.41 per litre to €2.05 per litre.
Because of the rising costs, 1 in 10 have switched their mode of transport to walking instead of driving and 9 per cent have started using public transport.
Sky News claims that economists are warning that inflation has not yet reached its peak – with another round of energy bill increases in October expected to push it even higher.