StepChange Debt Charity response to ONS Burden of Household Debt report
28 January, 2013
StepChange Debt Charity says latest ONS figures showing an increase in the number of people who consider their debt a burden should come as little surprise, and that the evidence, when taken in conjunction with other recent findings, paints a bleak picture of financial vulnerability in the UK.
The ONS report shows that between 2006/2008 and 2008/2010 the number of people who consider their financial debt to be a burden has increased by 1.9 percentage points to 49.4 percent.
These findings echo those of StepChange Debt Charity, which has seen more people struggling to meet the basic cost of living, as the number of people with rent, council tax and energy arrears has risen sharply in the last year, as has the amounts owed.
Today’s findings reiterate those of other recent reports concerning the increasingly precarious position of many household’s finances. Including:
- 36.6 percent of people are unable to meet the cost of an unexpected financial expense - Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK and EU, 2005-2011(ONS)
- 6.9 million households do not have sufficient “rainy day funds” - Sergeant review of Simple Financial Products (HM Treasury)
“Stagnating wages and rising living costs continue to push household budgets beyond breaking point, and the financial torture facing many households shows little sign of abating”, according to Delroy Corinaldi, external affairs director of StepChange Debt Charity.
Corinaldi added: “For those facing financial hardship and problem debt there is help available from organisations like StepChange Debt Charity. However, we believe that the government needs to have a clear plan to help people who are financially vulnerable through this difficult period.”