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Nearly a third of St Helens people struggling with debt, says report
A NEW survey has revealed nearly 30per cent of people in St Helens are struggling with debt, placing the town in the top quarter of locations where populations are suffering money worries.
The report states that 8.8 million people in the UK have serious debt problems, but only one in five of this group is currently getting advice to help them cope.
The figures were greeted with a worrying reaction from St Helens North MP Dave Watts, chairman of the campaigning Special Interest Group Of Municipal Authorities, which involves group of MPs representing urban local authorities.
The Money Advice Service report: ‘Indebted Lives: The Complexities of Life in Debt’, brings insights from a survey of more than 5,000 UK adults, and provides a much clearer picture of the lives of those struggling with debt.
It shows St Helens in 49th place out of 406 towns and cities regarding the percentage of the adult population who were in debt. St Helens with 29.2per cent was slightly worse than Glasgow and Wigan.
It reveals that more than four million people have been struggling to pay their bills for more than a year and admit their debt prevents them buying the basics – with families suffering even more.
Those with debt said it has a negative impact on their life and three out of four admitted they were unhappy. But repaying debts is very important to four in five of the 8.8 million who said they would like to pay off their debt as soon as possible.
The service is concerned to find only one in six of all adults experiencing debt difficulties is currently seeking advice to help them deal with their debt.
With Manhcester, Liverpool and Knowsley all having rates at more than 40per cent, MP Mr Watts voiced fears there was a clear link between cuts to local authorities and personal debt.
He said:“It is no surprise that the top five cities where people are the most indebted are all in areas represented by SIGOMA member councils.
“These councils are facing the double whammy of dealing with some of the highest levels of cuts in council funding and their local people struggling to keep in the black.
“Some of these authorities will soon be at the point of being unable to deliver crucial services to its residents who are clearly already struggling to cope.“
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