Sunday, 4 August 2013

Nine million more struggle to pay bills


by Luke James
Austerity-Addicted Chancellor George Osborne has left nine million more people in financial difficulty compared with seven years ago, Money Advice Service revealed today.
The independent body found that 26 million people across Britain are now living on the brink of financial ruin - a massive 35 per cent rise since their last survey in 2006.
Failing Tory economic policies have sent hourly income plumetting by 6 per cent and sparked a "live for now" attitude to cash among the population.
For example, more than one in five of the 5,000 people surveyed would rather have £200 immediately than £400 in four months' times.
A Treasury spokesman claimed the government had helped households meet the rising cost of living by raising the personal tax allowance and freezing fuel duty.
He said: "We recognise that times are still tough for families, but Britain is holding its nerve, we are sticking to our plan and the British economy is on the mend."
But Labour shadow Treasury minister Catherine McKinnell said the figures bust George Osborne's "out of touch claims that people are better off."
She said: "This government's failed economic policies mean prices are rising much faster than wages. And their unfair choices have seen hard-working people hit hard while millionaires get a huge tax cut."
Ms McKinnell said Labour would help families "with a lower 10p starting rate of tax, paid for by a mansion tax, and take action to tackle soaring rail fares and energy prices."
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady added that only "strong growth underpinned by decent jobs and higher pay" would end the "longest real wage squeeze since Victorian Times."
Separate figures showed there had been a 3 per cent rise in the number of people being force to declare themselves bankrupt over the last three months.
And the Left Economic Advisory Panel's Andrew Fisher warned: "As personal debt starts rising again it is clear that the squeeze on living standards also creates a huge economic risk if loan and mortgage defaults rise, threatening the banking sector again."

This article first appeared in the Morning Star

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