Sharon McDougall - 12th April 2022 - 2 minutes to read
People in problem debt across the UK were already struggling with cost of living pressures even prior to the recent steep increases in inflation and energy prices.
That’s according to a new set of figures that show huge numbers of consumers were in arrears with their energy bills and their council taxes during 2021.
Data from the debt help experts at StepChange shows that almost half a million people across the UK reached out to its advisors for guidance on their debt issues over the course of last year.
Of those people, around 28 per cent were behind with their electricity bills and 23 per cent were behind on their gas bills.
Those figures are up from 17 per cent and 13 per cent respectively compared to 2019, which gives an indication of just how much the pandemic situation added to the financial pressures facing British households.
Meanwhile, in 2019, roughly 30 per cent of people who approached StepChange for advice were in council tax arrears but by 2021 that proportion had risen to 37 per cent.
All of which is being taken as evidence that huge numbers of households were having trouble keeping pace with the cost of living last year, even before prices of goods and energy bills began to increase very sharply as they did in the early weeks and months of 2022.
The view from StepChange is that urgent government action is needed to support the people who are most at risk of falling victim to what is now being referred to as the cost of living crisis.
According to the charity, current conditions are such that a growing number of people across the country will soon find themselves in situations whereby their income does not cover their essential outgoings, which will very often lead to problem debt scenarios.
“If things go on as they are, we could see the proportion of our clients who have a negative budget rise from around a quarter to more like a half,” explained Richard Lane, StepChange’s director of external affairs.
“It’s impossible to look at the characteristics of our clients and their debts in 2021 and not conclude that more help is needed,” he added.
“When so many people are already struggling to make ends meet, a steep rise in the cost of living means debt becomes inevitable for many.”
If you live anywhere in Scotland and you are struggling with your personal debts then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Contact us directly to arrange a FREE and confidential consultation.
Levels of unsecured debt in Scotland increased dramatically during 2022 as the cost of living crisis took its toll on household finances.
Close to half a million Scots are in a position of profound financial hardship, according to a new set of figures.
Disabled people in Scotland are being urged by the government to check whether they might be eligible for benefits that could help make their life a little easier.
Why Choose Us
5 Offices in Scotland
Ask us About
Helping Scots Get
Out of Debt Since 1989
We offer an
Instant Initial Consultation
We'll Help You
Lower Monthly Payments
HELPING SCOTS GET
Out of Debt Since 1989
We'll give you a call
Our Scottish based team can help advise you on your debt problems.
Our personalised debt report will help you better understand your financial position and see where your money is going.
Arrange a call with an expert advisor at a time to suit you or contact our team via WhatsApp for immediate help and advice.
Our Insolvency Practitioners are regulated by ICAS or the IPA and our firm is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Fees and Information: There are fees associated with our services. These will be fully explained before entering into any of the personal debt solutions referred to on this website. Full details of our fees and how these are charged are fully explained to you prior to you committing to any particular service.