Debt worries in North West have reached a five-year high, with almost half of all adults in the region worried about their current level of debt according to insolvency trade body R3.
While the proportion of adults concerned by their debts across the UK is on average 40%, the North West returns much higher figures, with 48% saying they are anxious about the money they owe up from 34% a year ago.
Some 47% say they often or sometimes struggle to get to payday, again higher than the figure for all British adults (40%) and higher than the same percentage of 29% reported last year. The cost of food (52%), household energy (42%), fuel or transport (35%), and credit card repayments (24%) are the leading reasons why people say they struggle financially.
"The proportion of people who say they struggle to payday has increased – there’s too much month at the end of the money," said R3’s North West chair Paul Barber, who is also a partner at Begbies Traynor and called the findings 'concerning'. “People in the region without any savings has risen sharply from 18% last April to 25% now, so it appears that levels of financial resilience are lower than they should be.
“It is a reminder that, despite talk of the Northern Powerhouse and promising signs such as the growth of the tech sector, many people are still struggling to make ends meet," he added. “The rises in minimum wage levels this April will bring a measure of relief for lots of people, but will be partly offset in some cases by the increase at the same time of automatic pension enrolment contributions.
"With wage growth having trailed inflation for a long period, there’s still a lot of catching up to be done before the difference is felt in people’s pockets; we should remember that debt problems can have a serious impact on people’s mental health," continued Paul. "Those who are struggling should take advice for a charity or professional and qualified adviser at the earliest possible stage.”
The survey was carried out by ComRes which interviewed 2,000 British adults including over 200 in the North West.