More than three million people are struggling to pay council tax and other essentials bills , a new study reveals.
Over the past year almost 1.6million households have fallen behind with council tax payments, nearly one million are in rent arrears, while over one million are behind on water bills.
The report from the Universities of Birmingham and Lincoln shows poverty is rising for all groups, even those in work, as six in ten people in the poorest fifth of the population are deep in debt.
More than eight million of those living in poverty have at least one person in paid employment in their family.
And the research highlights a worrying trend as more than two million people were contacted by bailiffs in 2018.
Almost one million of those said bailiffs had broken rules such as refusing to accept affordable payment offers, threatening to break into properties where they do not have the power to do this and taking goods that didn’t belong to the person who owes the debt.
Not great for those unable to keep on top of their basic bills as councils tax debt is commonly passed on to bailiffs.
Debt charity StepChange says these latest figures are hugely worrying, illustrating the scale of the problem of debt in the UK.
Peter Tutton, head of policy at StepChange, said: “Across the country people are struggling to keep up with essential expenses – a sure sign of wide-spread financial distress.
5 signs your finances are in a mess
Research from StepChange Debt Charity reveals there are indicators that flag up when you could be heading for financial problems. Spot them early enough and you will have more options to get things back on track.
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