The Debt Advisory Centre has published the results of a new Financial Well-being Survey which reveals an alarmingly high proportion of people who are having to borrow money just to be able to eat, or to pay their regular bills.
Not only does the cruelty of this have ethical implications, it is also extremely dangerous economically.
The survey questioned 2,000 people and found that 57% of them are forced to rely on credit in one form or another just to cover the costs of food, rent/mortgage, or utilities.
Over 20% of consumers questioned admitted borrowing to buy food between April and September this year, approximately double the proportion during the previous six months.
Perhaps most noticeable is an upward trend in people going into arrears, be it inability to repay borrowed money, or repay regular bills.
Quite simply, incomes are not rising quickly enough to keep pace with inflation, especially utilities prices.
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