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More people seeking help for debt problems

Left with little over to spend Credit: PA

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of people in Yorkshire seeking help for debt problems, according to new figures from StepChange Debt Charity. Last year, 13,701 Yorkshire residents contacted the charity's helpline, up from 10,282 in 2012, an increase of 33 percent.

The charity's figures show people contacting it from Yorkshire are struggling to make ends meet, and have, on average, just £4 left each month after covering their essential household bills. Last year, people from Yorkshire who contacted the helpline owed an average of £12,908 in unsecured debt.

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Hull tops debt table

Hull came out worst in debt survey

A survey out today reveals more people in Hull are struggling with debts than anywhere else in the country. The Money Advice Service cites the city as THE most 'over-indebted area ' in the UK, with 43% of people there experiencing serious debt problems.

It is closely followed by Nottingham, Manchester, Knowsley and Liverpool respectively. Rotherham and Doncaster also fared poorly, with a third of their population in debt. The Service commissioned the report to understand the lives of people with serious debt problems.

It found 18% of the UK adult population consider themselves in this situation, which equates to 8.8m people. .

Leeds charity warns self-employed workers are most vulnerable to debt

Self-employed workers are the most dependent on credit and vulnerable to a problem debt cycle, according to Leeds-based StepChange Debt Charity.

Of the three main types of credit used by those seeking the charity's help, debt levels were far higher for the self-employed.

Researchers looked at client debt levels for 2012. They found the average credit card balance across all StepChange Debt Charity clients was £10,517 spread over 2.8 credit cards. By comparison, self-employed clients owed on average £17,237 across 3.6 credit cards.

Average overdraft balance for clients was £2,082; whereas self-employed clients owed an average of £3,615, and while an average client had a personal loan balance of £10,479, self-employed clients owned £13,266.

While anyone, whatever their job or income, can find themselves struggling with debt, those working for themselves seem to be particularly vulnerable to debt problems.I would be particularly concerned about the strain of trying to seek enough work to maintain an income while struggling with debt. Anyone in this situation should not suffer alone, but seek professional advice and support help from a debt charity as soon as they realise that they have a problem."

– Delroy Corinaldi, external affairs director of StepChange Debt Charity

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Funding crisis

Board members of NHS North Yorkshire and York - which funds doctors' surgeries across the county - have announced they are more than £19m in debt.

They say it is partly because funding which had previously been available now isn't.

They will meet next week to discuss ways to reduce the debt.

The news comes after the board was criticised for spending £3.2m on home health monitoring systems - or telehealth systems - which are hardly used.