Main Findings of the Report
· There is a huge deficit in public transport provision in rural Ireland: The lack of reliable public transport in rural areas means that rural households are more reliant on their car to access basic services and commute to and from work and school. This reliance is contributing to our carbon footprint, with transport being one of the three main contributing industries. People in rural Ireland are forced to use their cars due to lack of public transport: Nearly three quarters (73.7 per cent) of all journeys taken in 2019 were by private car (as driver or passenger), whereas public transport accounted for just 4.8 per cent of all journeys.
· In the emerging digital world, internet connectivity must cover 100% of Ireland’s population: Internet connectivity in 2020 stood at 92 per cent, an increase of one percentage point from 2019. Almost every household with children is connected to the internet compared to 79 per cent of adult only households. Fixed broadband connection is the most used, accounting for 85 per cent of households.
· People’s capacity to cope with financial crises is declining: In 2018, almost four in ten people (37.3 per cent of the population) reported being unable to face an unexpected financial expense. The pandemic has exacerbated this with many who found it hard to manage household expenses before finding it even harder.
· In the current rapidly changing world, effective fraud prevention measures are essential: Reported cases of fraud, mostly cases of unauthorised transactions and attempts to obtain personal or banking information online or by phone, more than doubled to 16,929 by the end of 2021. As more and more make the move to online and digital money services, especially those who may be unused to using these services, effective education and fraud prevention measure must be enhanced.