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Average British Household ‘Almost £13,000 in Debt’

Sharon McDougall - 9th January 2017 - 2 minutes to read

British households have an average of close to £13,000 in debts outstanding even before their mortgages are counted into the equation.

That’s according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), which has been assessing official figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS recently revealed that the collective scale of unsecured debts held throughout the UK hit an unprecedented high of £349 billion during the third quarter of 2016.

For its part, the TUC is worried that a growing number of British families are finding it difficult or impossible to manage their finances without relying on credit and unsecured debts.

According to the trade union organisation, the typical scale of unsecured debt as a proportion of household income was higher at the end of September 2016 than has been the case at any point during the past eight years.

The latest estimates indicate that unsecured debts account for 27.4 per cent of household incomes across the UK.

“These increases in household debt are a warning that families are struggling to get by on their pay alone,” said Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary.

“Unless the government does more for working people, they could end the New Year poorer than they start it.”

The TUC is also concerned that while fewer people are currently out of work than has been the case in the recent past, the value of their wages in real terms has been diminished considerably since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008.

“The government is relying on debt-fuelled consumer spending to support the economy, with investment and trade in the doldrums since the financial crisis,” said Mr O’Grady from the TUC, who is calling for a nationwide rise in the national minimum wage.

Joanna Elson from Money Advice Trust, the personal finance charity, has described the latest figures on the scale of unsecured debts in the UK as being “something that we should all be concerned about”.

If you live anywhere in Scotland and are finding it increasingly tough to manage your debts and your personal finances then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. You can contact any of our offices directly to arrange a free and completely confidential consultation.

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Sharon McDougall


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