Debt repayment problems are set to soar among UK families as drops in income and job cuts due to the economic crisis take hold, according to a charity.
After an analysis of 400,000 people with financial problems, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) said some couples with two children could be left with only £62 spare to service debt after household essentials have been paid for.
Some families with three children or more will need £45 per month more than they are bringing in just to cover the cost of living, never mind any debt they may have to pay, the group said.
As well as frozen or dropping salaries and redundancy fears, many families will also be affected by benefits changes, with the rate at which 40% income tax appears dropping amid changes to the tax credits system.
CCCS chairman Lord Stevenson said: "The picture is undoubtedly bleak and it seems likely that many more families, including better-off ones, will be increasingly prone to over-indebtedness in the months ahead."