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Low pay and insecure work ‘driving record levels of debt’

Nearly half don’t have enough money set aside for emergencies

Low pay, insecure work and austerity are driving record levels of household debt, an analysis suggests.

Research by the TUC shows unsecured debt per household rose to £15,880 in the first quarter of 2019, up £1,160 on a year earlier.

Over half of households reported having unsecured debt, most commonly in the form of credit card debt (60%), overdraft (28%), personal loans (25%) and car finance (25%).

Young people are disproportionately likely to be in debt, with 70% of 18 to 34 year-olds reporting having a type of unsecured debt compared with 33% ofg people over 65.
The analysis also shows that of those with unsecured debt, 14% have fallen more than two months behind on repayments in the last year and 45% don’t feel they have enough money set aside for emergencies.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said millions of households have been pushed to the financial cliff edge.

“It’s time to reset the balance of power in our workplaces and our economy. Government must make more employers negotiate pay and conditions with unions. That will lift wages for everyone and stop working families having to rely on credit cards and overdrafts to get through the month,” she argued.