Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 28 January 2015

One in 10 Northern Ireland people say they can afford Christmas

ZingZillas on stage at Belfast City Council light switch on
UTV's Julian Simmons and Cool FM presenter Sonia Mac host Belfast Christmas light switch on
Thousands turned out to watch the Christmas lights switch on at Belfast City Hall
Thousands turned out to watch the Christmas lights switch on at Belfast City Hall
The Barazina youth choir on stage at Belfast City Hall
Thousands turned out to watch the Christmas lights switch on at Belfast City Hall
Thousands turned out to watch the Christmas lights switch on at Belfast City Hall
Thousands turned out to watch the Christmas lights switch on at Belfast City Hall
Thousands turned out to watch the Christmas lights switch on at Belfast City Hall
Thousands turned out to watch the Christmas lights switch on at Belfast City Hall
Thousands turned out to watch the Christmas lights switch on at Belfast City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
Belfast Christmas Market openned for business on Saturday with thousands of people pouring into the grounds of the City Hall
Belfast Christmas Market openned for business on Saturday with thousands of people pouring into the grounds of the City Hall
Belfast Christmas Market openned for business on Saturday with thousands of people pouring into the grounds of the City Hall
Belfast Christmas Market openned for business on Saturday with thousands of people pouring into the grounds of the City Hall
Belfast Christmas Market openned for business on Saturday with thousands of people pouring into the grounds of the City Hall
Belfast Christmas Market openned for business on Saturday with thousands of people pouring into the grounds of the City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
The festive season begins in Belfast with the Christmas market opening in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
12th November 2011. Santa takes centre stage at his throne in the Enchanted Forest Grotto at CastleCourt after a Christmas Parade from Belfast City Hall.
12th November 2011. Santa takes centre stage at his throne in the Enchanted Forest Grotto at CastleCourt after a Christmas Parade from Belfast City Hall.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 12th November 2011 Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com Santa takes centre stage at his throne in the Enchanted Forest Grotto at CastleCourt after a Christmas Parade from Belfast City Hall.
12th November 2011. Santa takes centre stage at his throne in the Enchanted Forest Grotto at CastleCourt after a Christmas Parade from Belfast City Hall.
12th November 2011. Santa takes centre stage at his throne in the Enchanted Forest Grotto at CastleCourt after a Christmas Parade from Belfast City Hall. Nathan Geddis (4) with Santa
Saturday 19th November 2011. Belfast City Council annual Christmas Lights Switch-On at Belfast City Hall
Saturday 19th November 2011. Belfast City Council annual Christmas Lights Switch-On at Belfast City Hall
Saturday 19th November 2011. Belfast City Council annual Christmas Lights Switch-On at Belfast City Hall
Saturday 19th November 2011. Belfast City Council annual Christmas Lights Switch-On at Belfast City Hall
Saturday 19th November 2011. Belfast City Council annual Christmas Lights Switch-On at Belfast City Hall
Belfast City Council annual Christmas Lights Switch-On at Belfast City Hall. Christmas 2011
Continental Christmas Market opens at Belfast City Hall. Christmas 2011
Continental Christmas Market opens at Belfast City Hall. Christmas 2011
Continental Christmas Market opens at Belfast City Hall
Continental Christmas Market opens at Belfast City Hall.
Continental Christmas Market opens at Belfast City Hall.
Friday 18th November 2011. Lisburn lights up for Christmas.
Friday 18th November 2011. Lisburn lights up for Christmas.
Friday 18th November 2011. Lisburn lights up for Christmas.
Friday 18th November 2011. Lisburn lights up for Christmas
Belfast City Council annual Christmas Lights Switch-On at Belfast City Hall. Christmas 2011
26th November 2010. Lesley-Anne Henry travels around Belfast City Centre in serch of top bargains for Christmas.
20th November 2010. Thousands lined the streets of Lisburn City on Friday evening to see Lisburn switch on its Christmas lights, sponsored by BT.
20th November 2010 . Thousands lined the streets of Lisburn City on Friday evening to see Lisburn switch on its Christmas lights, sponsored by BT.
20th November 2010 . Thousands lined the streets of Lisburn City on Friday evening to see Lisburn switch on its Christmas lights, sponsored by BT.
19th November 2011. Belfast City Council annual Christmas Lights Switch-On at Belfast City Hall pictued is the cast of Aladdin
19th November 2011. Belfast City Council annual Christmas Lights Switch-On at Belfast City Hall pictued is Fireman Sam who performed a special mini-show.
Saturday 19th November 2011. Belfast City Council annual Christmas Lights Switch-On at Belfast City Hall Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile switches on the lights with Neil, Hazel, and Luke Bailie
23rd November 2011. Thousands of fans converge in Omagh to see X Factor singing sensation Janet Devlin turn on the Christmas lights.
23rd November 2011. Thousands of fans converge in Omagh to see X Factor singing sensation Janet Devlin turn on the Christmas lights.
23rd November 2011. Thousands of fans converge in Omagh to see X Factor singing sensation Janet Devlin turn on the Christmas lights.
23rd November 2011. Thousands of fans converge in Omagh to see X Factor singing sensation Janet Devlin turn on the Christmas lights. Janet Devlin with James McGurk
20th November 2010 - Thousands lined the streets of Lisburn City on Friday evening to see Lisburn switch on its Christmas lights, sponsored by BT.
20th November 2010 - Thousands lined the streets of Lisburn City on Friday evening to see Lisburn switch on its Christmas lights, sponsored by BT.
20th November 2010 - Thousands lined the streets of Lisburn City on Friday evening to see Lisburn switch on its Christmas lights, sponsored by BT.
20th November 2010 - Thousands lined the streets of Lisburn City on Friday evening to see Lisburn switch on its Christmas lights, sponsored by BT.
20th November 2010 - Thousands lined the streets of Lisburn City on Friday evening to see Lisburn switch on its Christmas lights, sponsored by BT.
20th November 2010 -Thousands lined the streets of Lisburn City on Friday evening to see Lisburn switch on its Christmas lights, sponsored by BT.
18th November 2010. Santa arrives in style on his Harley motorbike at High St Mall in Portadown. He was accompanied by other bikers and Christmas characters where he met the towns children in Santa's High St Mall Grotto.
18th November 2010. Santa arrives in style on his Harley motorbike at High St Mall in Portadown. He was accompanied by other bikers and Christmas characters where he met the towns children in Santa's High St Mall Grotto.
18th November 2010. Santa arrives in style on his Harley motorbike at High St Mall in Portadown. He was accompanied by other bikers and Christmas characters where he met the towns children in Santa's High St Mall Grotto.
20th November 2010. TV presenter Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford help turn on Belfast's Christmas tree lights. They were joined on stage by the Belfast School of Music, Angelina Ballerina, Sportacus and Stephanie from Lazy Town and Santa. Crowds gather in front of the city hall during the event.
Cast members from the Grand Opera House Panto joined with children who attended the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children Christmas party held at the Culloden Hotel Belfast on Saturday.Cast member May McFettridge joins in the fun with Jon McAllister at the party.
©Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com - Press Eye Ltd -Northern Ireland - 20th November 2010. TV presenter Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford help turn on Belfast's Christmas tree lights. They were joined on stage by the Belfast School of Music, Angelina Ballerina, Sportacus and Stephanie from Lazy Town and Santa. Crowds gather in front of the city hall during the event.
20th November 2010. TV presenter Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford help turn on Belfast's Christmas tree lights. They were joined on stage by the Belfast School of Music, Angelina Ballerina, Sportacus and Stephanie from Lazy Town and Santa. Crowds gather in front of the city hall during the event.
20th November 2010. TV presenter Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford help turn on Belfast's Christmas tree lights. They were joined on stage by the Belfast School of Music, Angelina Ballerina, Sportacus and Stephanie from Lazy Town and Santa. Crowds gather in front of the city hall during the event.
20th November 2010. TV presenter Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford help turn on Belfast's Christmas tree lights. They were joined on stage by the Belfast School of Music, Angelina Ballerina, Sportacus and Stephanie from Lazy Town and Santa. Sportacus from Lazy Town pictured in front of the city hall during the event.
12 Days of...' Christmas Launches in Lisburn!Nearly 200 local primary school children took part in the Lisburn City Council spectacular Christmas Lights Switch On this weekend.From the partridge in a pear tree, to four golden calling birds, to swans a-swimming and ladies dancing - the crowds were delighted during the dazzling lantern and costume parade through the City centre. Christmas 2007
'12 Days of...' Christmas Launches in Lisburn!Nearly 200 local primary school children took part in the Lisburn City Council spectacular Christmas Lights Switch On this weekend.From the partridge in a pear tree, to four golden calling birds, to swans a-swimming and ladies dancing - the crowds were delighted during the dazzling lantern and costume parade through the City centre. Children from Lisburn Community Circus dressed as 5 Gold Rings. Christmas 2007
.Belfast City Hall, Belfast Eye and Continental Market, illuminated after the switch on of Belfast Christmas lights. Tuesday November 20, 2007.
Belfast's Black Santa Dean Houston McKelvey starts his annual Christmas sit-out to raise money for charity at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast. December 17, 2008.
11th Dec 2010 Glenarm Castle Christmas - Children Meet Santa and the Elves, Andrew and Hanna Scott meet Santa at Glenarm
11th Dec 201 Glenarm Castle Christmas - Children Meet Santa and the ElvesCharlie O'Connell aged 4 gets a gift from Santas eEves David and Stuart Morrow
16/12/08 Christmas tree at Belfast City Hall, which was supplied by Northern Ireland's Forestry Service.
General view of Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast over the Christmas period.
General view of Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast over the Christmas period.
Banbridge Council workers start to clear the ice and snow from the towns streets to help Christmas shoppers get their last minute shopping done.

Just one in 10 people believe they will be able to cover the cost of Christmas next month and over a third haven’t cleared their credit card bills from last year.

With just 27 days until Christmas, and retailers counting on us to shop in 26 of them, families are feeling the pinch.

When questioned earlier this month by LucidTalk polling for the Belfast Telegraph, a massive 88.7% of people were either experiencing or anticipating financial pressure as a result of the festive season.

Those surveyed were asked which of a range of options applied to them and were only allowed to choose one. The first option was “I will be cutting back on Christmas spending this year”, and nearly 47.9% agreed that they would.

In the case of pensioners over 65 more than half, 54.7%, were planning to cut back on spending.

Another 7.3% of the population already believed that they would have to resort to a pay-day loan company or other short-term money lender to cover the bill for Christmas.

Most people only take out pay-day loans, which carry penal interest rates of up to 1,000%, at the last minute to meet an emergency. So this figure may soar as the Christmas bills come in and people fall short in January.

When it comes to taking out short-term loans, men are more likely to do it than women — the comparative figures were 8.9% and 6%. This may reflect the fact that more men are in full-time work, with wages to guarantee the loans.

Research by the insolvency trade body, R3, has found that, across the UK 5m people are considering taking out a pay-day loan in the next six months. This is a rise of 50% over last year. One in four 18 to 24-year-olds is likely to seek a pay-day loan.

Our poll concentrated on the Christmas period but here too the strain is being felt most acutely by the young — with 42% of those considering a pay-day loan aged between 18 and 24.

The fact that the figure may rise, and that Christmas is a major source of long-term debt, is illustrated by the next option “I haven’t yet cleared off my credit card and/or other loans since last Christmas” — 33.5% of people said they were in this position.

A considerably higher proportion of private sector workers (44.4%) were still struggling with last year’s debt compared to their public sector counterparts (32.8%). This may highlight the pay gap between the two sectors which currently stands at 45%.

The last option, “Paying for Christmas is not a major problem for me” was true of just over one in 10 people (11.2%), constituting a tiny minority.

Perhaps ironically people who said they had no religious belief were marginally more likely to be able to cope. 16.4% of non-believers professed no worries over the cost of the Christian festival.

There was a spirit of bah humbug amongst some respondents. “There should be no Christmas decorations before December” was a common sentiment.

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