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Vast majority still fear for their finances

MORE than two-thirds of the population are afraid they will not have enough money to live comfortably next year.

New research by the Samaritans also indicates there is considerable fear amongst people that they will lose their jobs.

Almost half (49pc) of people surveyed are worried about losing their jobs while 68pc are concerned about their personal finances, the survey showed.

The research, conducted by polling company YouGov, also found that 20pc worry they will lose their homes next year and 70pc fear they will suffer directly as a result of public spending cuts on health, education and welfare

Samaritans of Ireland director Suzanne Costello said the recession was continuing to hit people hard.

"We've had more than 250,000 calls to Samaritans helpline over the past year, which is an increase of 9pc," said Ms Costello.

The survey polled a sample of 1,000 people and found money worries to be the nation's biggest concern.

Over a quarter of those surveyed (27pc) said last year was a bad year, if not their worst year ever.

Other anxieties included physical health issues, with 32pc citing this as a serious issue, and problems with family and friends, with 37pc saying this was a concern.

"We know the effects of the recession have hit people hard. So if you're struggling to cope with the challenges you're facing in these difficult times, we'd encourage you to get in touch with Samaritans. Our service runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," said Ms Costello.

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