Fifth of homes in Irish Republic miss bill payments

A fifth of houses in the Republic of Ireland have delayed or missed paying bills in order to cover their outgoings on basic goods and services, official statistics have shown.

The research by the Central Statistics Office surveyed household spending habits between 2009 and 2011.

It also found that one in 10 households delayed or missed loan repayments.

A further one in 10 delayed or missed paying their credit card bill.

The research is designed to assess how Irish households have reacted to the country's recession.

The survey also found that more than half of households cut back their spending on groceries and more than half cut back spending on going out.

Almost two thirds of households cut back their spending on clothing and footwear.

Spending on health insurance was reduced in 15% of households and 11% of households cut back spending on pension contributions.