The number of people suffering with debt related problems in Wales has increased by nearly a fifth in the last year, according to the Citizens Advice Bureau.
The service state that during 2014-2015, they helped more than 29,700 people with over 125,500 debt related issues across the country – that is an increase of 19% compared to the same period in the previous year.
Problems relating to consumer credit remain high, but over the last few years there has been a varying trend in the nature of debt and a considerable increase in the amount of people getting into debt with essential household bills.
The Citizens Advice Bureau has observed a significant increase in clients struggling to pay their council tax bills, with those experiencing council tax arrears issues increasing by 51% compared with 2013/2014, making it the largest debt-related problem area.
The amount of people experiencing problems with bailiffs collecting council tax debts has subsequently risen, with a third of those people speaking to the Citizens Advice Bureau saying they had an issue with debt collectors.
Problems with rent arrears across the social and private rented sector have also increased by an average of 28% in 2014/2015.
Issues relating to rent arrears have gone up 48%, with concerns this will lead to people being threatened with repossession, or actually losing their home.
The charity also highlights the impact that welfare reform is having on many of their clients. Over half of the people who sought help in the past year relating to benefits and tax credits were disabled or had a long term health condition.
Although our economy is currently recovering we are still witnessing an increase in the number of people who are struggling to maintain a decent standard of living, and finding it almost impossible to cope financially year on year. Getting into serious debt has a devastating impact on the health and well-being of individuals and their families – Emma Connor, Creditsure.