The Children’s Society published an analysis of poll results in March 2017: over 620,000 families in England and Wales are spending more on overdue bills than on food.
Families behind on bills spend 18% of their income on paying back arrears. And two out of five (38%) UK families said they will have to borrow money to pay for family essentials simply if the costs of living increase.
The Children’s Society called on government to give legal protection to families who fall into problem debt, with a 12 month ‘Breathing Space’ from mounting interest, charges and creditors chasing them for payment, so they can get their finances in order and set up a plan to affordably repay what they owe.
Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:
“No family should have to struggle to afford food because of the cost of problem debt; but this is a day-to-day reality for far too many across the country, as they find themselves facing spiralling charges and under intense pressure from lenders. These families need better protection from government to help them back on their feet and in charge of their finances.”