Help is needed for the poorest families struggling with debt
- 20 Nov
A report says that more needs to be done to help the UK's poorest families facing debt problems.
The Centre for Social Justice has said that the average UK household has debts of around £54,000, including mortgages, which is almost double the level of a decade ago. They say that the poorest 10% of households have debts that average more than four times their income. They believe that these households need affordable credit and free debt advice.
The report, titled Maxed Out, led by former Labour work and pensions minister Chris Pond, says that the average debt repayments of people in that group were almost half of their gross monthly income, reports the BBC.
The authors of the report say that they have avoided the easy assumption of blaming individual responsibility. They say that payday lenders, the housing bubble or the banking crash are not to blame.
Centre for Social Justice director Christian Guy said: "Years of increased borrowing, rising living costs and struggling to save has forced many families into a debt trap that is proving very difficult to escape. Problem debt can have a corrosive impact on people and families."
Mr Guy said the poorest people in the UK were "cut off from mainstream banking and have no choice now but to turn to loan sharks and high-cost lenders".
The report has found that over 26,000 households in the UK have been accepted by councils as homeless over the past five years due to mortgage and rent arrears.
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