Debt crisis: Study reveals tens of thousands of children hit by family debt crisis in North-East and Yorkshire

A total of £634.2m is owed in bills and loans across the North-East and Yorkshire

A total of £634.2m is owed in bills and loans across the North-East and Yorkshire

First published in News
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TENS of thousands of children in the North-East and Yorkshire are living in families trapped by debt who could be missing out on essentials, a study has revealed.

Research by The Children’s Society and StepChange Debt Charity has found 45,000 families in the North-East – 14 per cent of the total- are behind with bills and loan repayments by an average of £1,669.

This means an estimated 75,000 youngsters in the region are living in households with debt problems.

In Yorkshire, 132,922 families – some 20 per cent of the total- are suffering similar financial problems, with average arrears of £4,229 and an estimated 231,000 children affected.

Across both regions, a total of £634.2m is owed in bills and loans.

In their report, The Debt Trap: Exposing the impact of problem debt on children, the charities reveal how debt puts stress on relationships, traps families in a downward spiral of borrowing and can cause children to suffer from anxiety, experience bullying and miss out on essentials.

The Scarborough and Whitby, Thirsk and Malton and Richmond parliamentary constituencies in North Yorkshire are among the worst affected, with 43 per cent, 22 per cent and 21 per cent of children living in families trapped in debt, respectively

Skipton and Ripon in North Yorkshire, North Durham and Bishop Auckland are close behind, at 20, per cent, 18 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said it could take just a small set back, such as illness of redundancy, to tip a family over the edge.

“This research exposes the shocking reality of parents lying awake at night worrying and unhappy children going without,” he said.

“Many families are feeling the squeeze and parents struggling on low wages are battling just to pay the bills.”

The study follows the launch of The Debt Trap, a campaign to highlight the impact of debt on children.

StepChange Debt Charity and The Children’s Society are calling on the Government to create a “breathing space” scheme to give struggling charities an extended period of protection for further charges and enforcement action.

They are also demanding tighter restrictions on advertising loans, earlier and wider access to debt support and a review of whether the protection systems already in place are working.

For more information, visit stepchange.org or childrenssociety.org.uk

Comments (4)

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7:22am Tue 12 Aug 14

greenfinger says...

How did they get the debt in the first place? They could have spent all of the said debt on children then the child isn't really losing out because they've already had the money.
How did they get the debt in the first place? They could have spent all of the said debt on children then the child isn't really losing out because they've already had the money. greenfinger
  • Score: -4

9:22am Tue 12 Aug 14

Ron Carter-Bonsteel says...

The cost of living is out of control with low wages.low benefits try living on £70+ pounds a week or a couple of just over £100+ my son works 30 hours a week for £2.68 an hour. Not even the minimum wage which is too low for what bills we have to pay. Bedroom Tax for many is having a devastating effect on people's finances with Gas. Electric. Water bills and paying council tax and rent and then the high cost of food. But with this Government we are all in this together? What a joke have people seen in the paper today that MP's claiming few pence for paper clips etc. Have a go at this lot but it's easy to have a go at people on low wages and benefits we are a easy target. The good people of this Country did not cause the problems we have. blame the MP's and Bankers.
The cost of living is out of control with low wages.low benefits try living on £70+ pounds a week or a couple of just over £100+ my son works 30 hours a week for £2.68 an hour. Not even the minimum wage which is too low for what bills we have to pay. Bedroom Tax for many is having a devastating effect on people's finances with Gas. Electric. Water bills and paying council tax and rent and then the high cost of food. But with this Government we are all in this together? What a joke have people seen in the paper today that MP's claiming few pence for paper clips etc. Have a go at this lot but it's easy to have a go at people on low wages and benefits we are a easy target. The good people of this Country did not cause the problems we have. blame the MP's and Bankers. Ron Carter-Bonsteel
  • Score: 1

10:32am Tue 12 Aug 14

tubgut says...

We are marching back to the bad old days, I can remember thinking it may be tough now (forty years ago) but with advances in technology it should get better WRONG. I can never remember food banks before. An increase in interest rates will stop the economy growing. At the moment is been driven by services and not manufacturing. Youth unemployment is a tragedy. No one is too concerned, bring the immigrants in they work for less. Body politic is totally useless. How long have they been going to change the human rights laws years they drag this out of the box every time there an election on the horizon.
South East booming this maybe the catalyst to drive the interest rates up. The sluggish recovery in the North East would grind to a halt. Having a young family must be difficult to stay afloat The country is out of control, the problem who do you trust to put it right.
We are marching back to the bad old days, I can remember thinking it may be tough now (forty years ago) but with advances in technology it should get better WRONG. I can never remember food banks before. An increase in interest rates will stop the economy growing. At the moment is been driven by services and not manufacturing. Youth unemployment is a tragedy. No one is too concerned, bring the immigrants in they work for less. Body politic is totally useless. How long have they been going to change the human rights laws years they drag this out of the box every time there an election on the horizon. South East booming this maybe the catalyst to drive the interest rates up. The sluggish recovery in the North East would grind to a halt. Having a young family must be difficult to stay afloat The country is out of control, the problem who do you trust to put it right. tubgut
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Tue 12 Aug 14

loan_star says...

Household bills were rising quickly well before the last change of government. Fuel bills and council tax bills especially shot up under the party of the "working class". But blame the coalition for everything why not!
Household bills were rising quickly well before the last change of government. Fuel bills and council tax bills especially shot up under the party of the "working class". But blame the coalition for everything why not! loan_star
  • Score: 2

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