Households in Northern Ireland have been predicted to experience a drop in the amount of disposable income they will have access to this year, according to the Irish League of Credit Unions.
The industry body, which has been promoting the uses of credit unions in lieu of short term loans, revealed through its Household Income Tracker survey that fuel bill increases have led to a high number of people in Northern Ireland to turn to instant cash loans from moneylenders in order to make ends meet.
The League conducted a survey of more than 500 people how household income drops have taken its toll on them, discovering how the typical NI consumer has to pay around £131 every month on fuel. As a result of these cost increases, the League claimed that in excess of 100,000 people had to take out short term loans in order to cope with other outstanding monthly bills.
Irish League of Credit Unions spokesperson, Rosemary O’Doherty, remarked that it was abundantly clear that people in Northern Ireland have the expectation that they will experience new financial pressures in 2012. Ms O’Doherty expressed particular concerns that so many have turned to short term loans and other sources of what she called ‘high interest’ credit.
According to the League’s research, one out of every four who took out short term loans did not have the ability to meet their repayments in a timely manner. Moreover, around 12 per cent of all adults in NI – around 170,000 people – have no money left over every month after paying their bills.