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Personal Finance

Research reveals only a third of adults have enough savings to survive Covid-19 shutdown

Research reveals only a third of adults have enough savings to survive Covid-19 shutdown
Rob Flynn

Rob Flynn

Staff Writer

New research shows a short-term resilience to the financial and economic effects of the coronavirus from Irish people, but little is known as to what the future holds for many families who are concerned about their financial futures.

With yet another day lolling by in lockdown due to Covid-19 it can be difficult to keep focused on all the positives, but if one thing is for certain during these tumultuous times it’s the old adage ‘this too shall pass.’

As we continue to fight the virus at present there is considerable and growing uncertainty around what the future holds for people, both financially and economically as a result of the coronavirus.

New research carried out by communications agency Cicero/AMO has delivered new insight into the impact of the pandemic here in Ireland and has revealed that 40% of Irish citizens believe it will be more than two years before the economy returns to normal in the aftermath of this global catastrophe.

As the Government continues to firefight and implement measures to buoy the economy and its citizens financially, we take a look at some of the key stats revealed and the foremost challenges facing Irish adults during these unprecedented times.

About the research

The research from Cicero/AMO, conducted in association with market research specialists Toluna, surveyed 525 Irish adults on a nationally representative basis between 25th and 31st March 2020.

The survey focused on Irish adults' main concerns surrounding the impact of the coronavirus, as well as our financial and economic resilience in both the short and long term.

Personal health

The survey unsurprisingly revealed that Irish citizens are first and foremost concerned about the health and safety of family members.

37% of people outlined the health and wellbeing of wider family as being their single biggest concern right now.

However, beneath the immediate health concerns posed to us and our closest family and friends, those surveyed expressed considerable concern in relation to their financial security due to Covid-19.

Financial health

Those surveyed also indicate justified apprehension about the country’s economic and financial resilience with one in ten people concerned about personal job security.

Uncertainty was also expressed around people's personal finances as well as the security of the economy with only one third (34%) of Irish adults saying they have enough savings to wait out the potential three-month lockdown; while the same amount of people are living from month-to-month or even less.

13% of people are worried about making rent or mortgage payments during these unprecedented times despite moratorium measures being implemented to help allay financial fears.

Economic health

The vast majority of people believe it will be at least six months before the economy begins to bounce back as a result of the global pandemic which has halted every facet of society.

However, a large minority of those surveyed (40% of people) believe it will take at least one year or more before the economy begins to show signs of recovery.

When posed the question about their confidence in the Government’s current management of the crisis, over two thirds of Irish adults surveyed expressed relative confidence in the short-term, with over 41% very confident and 38% somewhat confident.

Despite this short-term assurance only 27% of those surveyed are very confident in the Government’s ability to manage the crisis in the long-term, while 21% are not very confident in its ability to manage the crisis into the future.

Ireland Director with Cicero/AMO, Aideen Ginnell said: 

“This is an extremely worrying time on all fronts. Working with Toluna, we set out to capture the confidence of the Irish public in the current government, in the measures being taken and on the outlook for the economy. We also wanted to identify how vulnerable people are to the economic shock and to what lies waiting past this three-month payment moratorium.

Undoubtedly, the scale of the public sector intervention is unprecedented. The sums involved in taxpayer rescue packages exceed any form of direct rescue witnessed by the State. This is all very important but what must be noted is it is for a certain period of time only. Each has a three month expiration. And even if the Government felt the need to extend this period – each extension brings consequences for the economy into the long-term.

The risk we face is putting all our efforts into dealing with the here and now to only successfully come out of that challenge and headfirst into a melting economy. This we know, can have devasting impacts on the most vulnerable in our society.”

You can view the full report on Cicero's website.

At a glance

Although concern for the health and well-being of family is people's top concern, people have other worries too. 

Covid-19 - what is your biggest concern right now?

Percentage

The health of my wider family (parents, grandparents, children, etc.)

37%

My personal physical health

14%

Keeping my job/finding another job

10%

Paying my rent

9%

Paying food bills and utility bills

7%

Preserving my cash savings as long as possible

6%

My personal mental health

5%

Paying my mortgage

4%

Paying the school fees

2%

Paying non-mortgage debt (credit cards, loans)

2%


Switch and save

One way to help make your pocket happy in these difficult financial times is by taking the extra time spent at home to take a look at the life admin you wouldn’t normally have time to address day-to-day.

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