Figures show plunge of incomes since 2008
THE country's workforce earned €7.5bn less in 2009 than they did in the year before that, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office published yesterday.
Employees were paid a total of €73.8bn in 2009 compared to €81.3bn in 2008, the latest figures show. While salaries declined by €7.5bn, the total amount of tax paid fell just €1.8bn to €21.6bn.
Despite the plunge in wage payments, people managed to save more, salting away €10bn in 2009 compared to €7bn the previous year.
The figures gave an insight into the drastic changes to household spending habits as incomes collapse.
Last year, we spent €7.1bn on food for our own use, compared to €8.1bn two years previously.
Spending on alcohol is also plunging. While we spent only €500m less on drink than food in the years leading up to the height of the boom, since the bust, we have spent €1bn less on drink than food each year.
We are also cutting back on clothing and food. Last year we shelled out just €2.96bn compared to €4bn in 2007.
The new CSO figures paint a very different picture when it comes to expenditure which we cannot control, such as education, medicine and energy.
Spending on energy has risen since the recession began, jumping to €3.1bn last year from €3bn in 2007 as fuel prices nudge upwards.
Expenditure on education and recreation services has surged to €7.5bn last year from €6.8bn at the height of the boom, reflecting higher costs, unemployed people returning to training and students staying in college for post-graduate courses rather than signing on for the dole.
Professional services, which include lawyers' and doctors' fees, rose to €9.3bn from €8.8bn at the height of the boom.
The figures show that the amount of money invested in everything from property to equipment plunged as the recession bit. While €43.6bn was invested in 2005, the corresponding figure for 2010 was €17.3bn.