The cost of energy is the biggest cause of worry among the public, followed closely by the broader cost of living, a new survey by employers’ organisation Ibec has found.
The survey also found a third of people polled were worried about housing, as challenges around that issue continue to grow.
The national survey, carried out by Amárach on behalf of Ibec, found that overall, 60% of people feel the general quality of life in Ireland over the past five years has disimproved.
Nevertheless, just over two thirds of respondents rated their own quality of life as positive.
Carried out in November among a representative sample, the study was part of the organsiation’s Better Lives, Better Business campaign, which is focused on making the country a better place to live and work in.
“The next ten years will see a transformation in the country. By 2030 there will be 1.1 million additional people on the island,” said Ibec Executive Director of Lobbying and Influence Fergal O’Brien.
“We have also set ambitious targets to decarbonise society and the economy, implement the National Planning Framework to re-balance regional growth, and encourage major changes in how people live and work, over the coming years.”
“Whilst the short-term focus may be on the challenges and changes brought about by Covid-19 and Brexit, we must plan for these less dramatic but equally important long-term challenges which litter our country’s path.”
When it comes to particular demographics, those aged under 35 were most concerned about public transport and housing.
In contrast, those aged over 55 were more worried about climate change, the survey found.
More affordable housing was seen to be the thing that would make the biggest difference to the quality of life of nearly a quarter of those who responded, particularly younger participants.
An almost identical number cited better transport options.
Other issues of importance to people when it comes to making their lives better included better public amenities, streetlights, cycle lanes.
“Quality of life issues are now core for the business community and unless we successfully address challenges in relation to housing and other aspects, in addition to the social fallout, Ireland will also struggle to succeed economically,” said Mr O’Brien.