Debt charity Stepchange has published a report that reveals that Scottish households have the largest payday loan debts, council tax and electricity arrears in the UK. The research demonstrates a 20 percent increase in clients with payday loan debts as compared with 2013.
Scotland’s insolvency body also released figure this week that show a 20% increase in the number of people in Scotland who are facing legal action over personal debts – of which 80% relate to council tax arrears. The ‘ramping up’ of debt collection procedures within councils has been criticised at a time when families are struggling to make ends meet.
Sharon Bell, head of StepChange Scotland, said: “The rise in people struggling to pay their priority bills is a stark reminder of just how difficult day-to-day living has become for many Scottish households.
“Keeping a roof over your head and heating your home are basic needs, yet for too many Scottish families, these are constant worries in the run-up to Christmas. Even where families are not in debt, many live on a financial knife-edge with small setbacks enough to tip them over the edge into problem debt.
“We continue to see worrying levels of payday loan debt which are making a bad situation worse for too many Scots. Toxic high cost credit is being used as an emergency safety net and we need to find more sustainable ways to help people cope.”