WHILE prices are going up across the board, fuel increases are hitting Irish households the hardest, with nine in every 10 people reporting to be feeling the pinch of soaring home and transport fuel costs since the start of the year.
These are the primary findings from the latest Taxback.com Taxpayer Sentiment Survey, in which 1,200 plus taxpayers from Taxback.com’s customer database were asked for their observations as regards price differentials across a range of household expenditure and everyday items and what they might do to mitigate the impact of this on their finances.
Barry Cahill, director at Taxback.com commented on the findings: “In all of the categories, we listed people are feeling the impact of inflation.
“Most notably however was the sharp impact of fuel costs both in the home and at the pumps. Almost eight in 10 people also reported seeing increases in their alcohol and tobacco and food items bills.
“The survey suggests that spending less is by far the most popular measure people plan to take to curb the impact of rising prices. This will have a knock-on effect on the wider economy, particularly at a time when businesses are trying to recover from the pandemic.
“A quarter of people said they will aim to save more, with 1 in 10 believing they will seek financial assistance and/ or advice from either a friend or family or a lender or a financial expert.
“Interestingly, seeking a pay rise is only seen as a core solution by a minority of people with just one in 10 planning to ask for a pay rise”.
Taxback.com say whether you’re a student, a householder, or a business, more and more people are beginning to realise they need to find ways to cut back.
Mr Cahill continued: “While inflation is a source of financial strain on households, from a business perspective too, inflation creates many challenges.
“Labour costs are on the increase to meet living costs, and the cost of rent, fuel and other goods and services needed to run a business are all rising.
It’s putting pressure on smaller businesses to increase their prices to consumers, which in turn puts them at risk of losing customers to bigger companies with larger margins who can maybe afford to pass on a little less pain to consumers.”
Mr Cahill concluded: “ It really has been one thing after the other for consumers and for businesses for the last few years.
“As consumers, we are all grappling with meeting the rising cost of living and having to adjust our everyday and wider spending to try to meet and retain as much of our essential and discretionary spending as we are used to.
“Small actions, such as ensuring you apply for any available tax relief and refunds, can really help.
“A recent survey we conducted found that more than five in 10 people do not claim the tax reliefs and refunds they are owed on a yearly basis.
“Our current average tax refund is €1076, an amount that could bring a significant boost to household coffers for the sake of a small amount of effort.”