Cost-of-living crisis could force one in four to work longer hours or seek better pay. Survey shows that widows, the divorced and those who are separated will suffer the brunt.
More than nine out of ten workers expect their finances to be hit by the cost-of-living crisis this winter, with four in ten saying the impact will be particularly bad, a new survey conducted by iReach Research for Lockton People Solutions Ireland has found.
The employee benefits expert’s cost-of-living survey on more than 700 adult workers shows the extent to which the crisis – which saw thousands take to the streets in nationwide protests earlier this month - has gripped the population.
The survey examined the measures workers would be prepared to take to alleviate the impact of the price squeeze on them. Respondents revealed that the price squeeze could force them to work longer hours or look for a promotion in work to bolster their existing income.
More than one in four (27 percent) said they would be willing to work overtime – or to go for a promotion in work – so they could earn more money and better weather inflation.
More than one in four (26 percent) said they would be willing to cut their gym subscription – or other types of subscriptions – to free up some money and ease the impact of the price squeeze.
The survey found that many workers would be reluctant to sell their car and rely on public transport in order to free up some much-needed money – with only 8 percent saying this was a possible solution. Those from a working-class background were four times more likely than a middle-class background to sell their car to ease the pressure on household finances.
Women are twice as likely as men to carpool to work in order to ease the pressure of the price squeeze on their finances – 7 percent of women said they would do so versus 3 percent of men.
Women in employment are much more likely to cancel their gym or other memberships than men in a bid to shield themselves from the price squeeze. Almost one in three (32 percent) of women said they would do so versus one in five (20 percent) of men. Almost half of female workers (49 percent) in the 18-34 age bracket said they would do this compared to only 13 percent of males in the same age bracket.
The working class are more likely than the middle class to cancel their gym or other memberships (32 percent versus 23 percent) in a bid to protect themselves from the price-of-living squeeze
More than one in five (21 percent) of those workers aged between 25 and 34 would be prepared to sell their car to ease the pressure of the price squeeze on them – making this the most likely age cohort to do so. The working class were four times more likely than the middle class to sell their car (16 percent versus 4 percent).
Only one in 20 (5pc) say they would consider carpooling to work in order to ease the toll of soaring prices
Only 8 percent of workers would be prepared to cancel or reduce their pension savings in a bid to battle the price squeeze – while only 15 percent would be open to cancelling or reducing their private health insurance.
Commenting on the findings of the survey, Ray McKenna, partner at Lockton People Solutions Ireland, said:
“Worryingly, workers aged between 45 and 54 were more likely than other age cohorts to cut or stop their pension savings as these are the group closest to retirement. The repercussions of the cost-of-living crisis could therefore be felt for years to come if people end up with smaller pensions as a result.”
McKenna added, “Evidence of a rural/urban divide is also apparent in the survey – with the data suggesting that the cost-of-living crisis is hitting workers harder in certain rural areas than those living in cities. This could be an indication of the extent to which workers living in rural counties rely on their cars to get around – particularly if there are poor public transport links in those areas.”
Other highlights from the Lockton cost-of-living Survey include:
Although the vast majority of workers, regardless of income level, say the crisis will impact them to varying degrees, almost half of those earning the equivalent of between £17,500 and £52,500 believe the oncoming blow from the crisis will impact them severely - with fewer numbers of workers in other income brackets believing this will be the case.
About four in ten (38 per cent) of married people in employment expected to be hit “a lot” by the cost-of-living crisis over the winter, with a similar proportion of single people saying the same.
Four in ten of those earning up to the equivalent of £17,500, three in ten of those earning between £52,500 and £70,000, and two in ten of those earning more than £70,000 believe the oncoming blow from the price squeeze will be quite bad for them.
The survey also found that more women workers (45 percent) than men (34 percent) expect the price squeeze to hit them particularly badly in the coming months.
About six out of ten (61 percent) of workers that are divorced, separated or widowed said the crisis will impact them a lot in the coming months – almost twice the number of married workers who believed this would be the case.
Almost half (47 percent) of those workers aged between 25 and 34 said the crisis will impact them a lot, compared to a national average of 39 percent - this is indicative of the huge rental and housing costs facing this age cohort.
For further information, please contact:
Ray McKenna, Partner