Debts Linked to Household Bills ‘Have Trebled in 10 Years’

June 16, 2017

The average scale of debts accounted for by household bills and essential costs has trebled over the course of the past 10 years in the UK.

That’s according to the charity group Christians Against Poverty (CAP), which has published a new report including figures that show a stark rise in the scale of what it calls “priority debts” among consumers nationwide.

The CAP says that a decade ago the average person seeking its help with financial problems had debts worth £1,412 linked to household bills and other necessities but that figure now stands at £4,582.

Those numbers suggest that falling behind with essential expenditures now accounts for 32 per cent of the overall debt burdens being carried by consumers with financial problems.

Matt Barlow, chief executive of the CAP, has said that the idea that reckless overspending is to blame for the financial problems of most people in debt is now “thoroughly outdated”.

“We know the downward spiral most commonly begins with low income and that fragile situation only needs hours to be cut, a relationship to breakdown or even something as mundane as a broken washing machine, and that person’s finances are in free fall,” Mr Barlow said in a statement.

“The vast majority of people we see have turned to credit to cover the costs of necessities like council tax, energy bills and rent. A decade ago, the pattern was different, credit was more easily found and living costs weren’t so high.”

The CAP has also recently revealed that around 11 per cent of the people it works with have financial difficulties and debt problems so serious that they find themselves going without beds to sleep on.

According to the charity’s research, one in six of its clients with money problems don’t own their own beds and find themselves having to rent them from weekly payment retailers.

“For years our charity has been saying that people in debt can’t sleep at night. Now we discover the shocking truth that more than one in ten don’t have a bed to call their own,” said Matt Barlow, the CAP’s chief executive.

If you live anywhere in Scotland and you are struggling with serious debt problems then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. We offer free initial consultations at each of our four offices.

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