A major new survey from the Central Statistics Office reveals that incomes have been hit so hard that half of consumers now skimp on the weekly shopping.
The figures demonstrate how more than a million households have cut back on their spending, with a quarter forced to restrict expenditure on items such as clothes, holidays, car usage, health insurance and pension contributions. In addition around 700,000 households are now having difficulties keeping up with their bills and debts.
These are shocking figures but will come as no surprise to those who are struggling each week to survive financially, as incomes have been slashed and demands have increased exorbitantly. The survey demonstrates what many know by now - people simply have no more money to give in terms of taxes and levies.
This is something which the Government will have to give due consideration to in terms of the next budget. There have already been stark warnings that austerity is no where near an end and that the forthcoming budget will be as difficult as those which have gone before.
That may well be but the Government must now recognise that there is a limit to what householders can endure. That limit has now been reached and there simply must be some recognition of the fact that a huge percentage of housholders in this country have reached rock-bottom.