The British economy is recovering, but many families are still waiting to see their household finances return to a genuinely steady footing.
Many are living on the edge, with 21 million people in Britain struggling with their bills, 18 million worried about making their income last until payday, and some 2.9 million people are in severe problem debt.
Many more families could find themselves falling into problem debt as they struggle to deal with shocks and changes without resorting to credit unsustainably. This leads people into a ‘debt trap’ where stress and anxiety compounds people’s difficulties and makes it harder for them to get back on their feet.
The consequences of debt – lost jobs, homes, broken relationships, mental health and support needs – leads to social costs of £8.3 billion.
The Government therefore has an opportunity to offer better help for people in debt get back on their feet and contributing to the economy, and prevent the next generation from falling into the same trap.