October 2011

Payday Loans Fuelling Consumer Debt Problems

Our latest research has found that payday loans are fuelling consumer debt problems, while demand for this type of easy-access credit appears to be soaring across the UK.

The charity’s latest survey has found that 41 per cent of those struggling with debt claim their financial problems are the result of high interest ‘payday’ lending. We’ve also found that online searches for ‘payday loans’ have worryingly doubled in the past 12 months.

Unemployment Rises To 17 Year High

Official figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed unemployment between June 2011 and August 2011 reached 2.57m, its highest level for 17 years, whilst the unemployment rate also increased to 8.1%. The 16-24 year old demographic fared worst with a record 991,000 out of work and an unemployment rate of 21.3%. The number of people out of work claiming benefitsalso roseby 17,500, to 1.6m, in September.

IFA Forecasts Increase In UK Child Poverty

The Institute For Fiscal Studies has forecast the number of children living in ‘absolute poverty’, a relative measure defined as a household income below 60% of the median value, will rise 600,000 to 3.1 million by 2013. The report also forecasts that median incomes will fall by 7% over the same period, representing the largest decline for 35 years.

Co-author of the report, James Browne, cautioned that the Government’s 2020 child poverty targets would not be achieved with the current trends, even if it was to invest heavily in tackling the issue.

Pensioners Face Rising Bills And Uncertain Future

The economic slowdown has hit pensioners’pockets hard, with many now needing to carry on working past retirement age. The Prudential hasrecently revealed that 35% of its pension scheme members have frozen payments because they can no longer afford them. Of even more concern is that 43% of those that froze payments said that they have no plans to resume payments at a later date.

Household Finances Climb From Record Low

The Markit Household Finance Index showed a small improvement in September, climbing from 33.2 to 35.1. 37% of those surveyed claimed their finances had deteriorated since August with only 7% believing their financial situation had improved.