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The Struggle to Subsist

Nearly half of all UK families need two or more salaries to cover the bills and live comfortably, a survey from Scottish Widows suggests. Families with more than one child rely even more on two salaries, 51% of whom say they could not cope without them. High household bills and debts are putting pressure on family finances .

The survey revealed that a quarter of UK families have no savings while a further 25% have less than £3,000, figures showed.

The average two-child household has more than £100,000 mortgage, loan and credit card debt, the survey found. This compares to just £82,000 average debt for families with no children.

"This reliance on two incomes to buy and run the family home means millions of households are effectively doubling the risk of financial hardship should one of the breadwinners become unable to work," said Richard Jones, Scottish Widows spokesman.

Another report informs us that more than 30,000 people became insolvent in England and Wales during the first three months of 2007 , an increase of 23.9% on the same three-month period in 2006 representing more than 330 personal insolvencies for every day of winter.
It reaffirmed predictions that 2007 will go down as the worst-ever year for personal insolvencies in England and Wales, surpassing last year's record total of 107,288.

And lenders are taking a tougher stance with debtors with 18% debtors looking to enter Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), a type of insolvency , being rejected by lenders. This is nearly double the rejection rate seen in the first three months of 2006.

Experts warn that a rise in UK interest rates , even a half a percentage point rise , could well push many people into insolvency.

As this article in this months Socialist Standard warns :-

"Sooner or later the bubble will burst, and it will be wage and salary earners without ‘independent means’ – drowning in debt – who are likely to be hardest hit, as the market economy solves a problem it created in the only way it knows."


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