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More working households targeted by bailiffs

According to a survey into debt collection carried out by Citizens Advice:

  • Council tax, unpaid parking fines, loans and credit cards were named as the main debts by callers.
  • There was a north/south divide in the number of cases recorded. The North East of England account for a sixth of all bailiff cases handled by the Citizens Advice Bureau
  • More than half of the people pursued by a bailiff in the East Midlands were in a family.
  • Only one in 100 problems dealt with by CABs in the South West were bailiff related.

Number of working families chased by bailiffs rises

Bailiffs are chasing more working families than before, say Citizens Advice Credit: PA

Debt collectors are knocking on the doors of more working households than before, a leading charity has claimed.

Requests for help dealing with bailiffs chasing payments from working parents now make up a fifth of inquires about debt collectors put to the Citizens Advice charity.

They dealt with 60,000 "bailiff problems" between April 2012 and March this year.

Out of these requests, half were parents were with dependent children.

On Sunday it was revealed that the value of UK workers' wages has suffered one of the sharpest falls in the European Union, when adjusted for inflation.

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Households paid 20% of income on direct taxes in 2011/2012

The Office for National Statistics has released new figures looking at the effects of taxes and benefits on household incomes in 2011/12.

  • Disposable incomes have fallen since the start of the economic downturn, with average equivalised income falling by £1,200.
  • Average original income (before any taxes or benefits) was £31,500.
  • On average, households paid 20% of their gross income in direct taxes such as income tax and council tax.
  • The top fifth of households had an average income of £78,300, 14 times that of the bottom fifth, who had an average of £5,400.

Income inequality fell to lowest level since 1986 in 2011/12

Inequality of disposable income fell to lowest level since 1986 in 2011/12, according to new figures released by the Office of National Statistics.

There was a fall in income inequality between 2010/11 and 2011/12.

This was partly driven by earnings falling for higher income households and by changes in taxes and benefits.

These changes include an increase in the income tax personal allowance and changes to National Insurance Contributions and Child Tax Credits.

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Payday loans 'given without proper checks'

Citizens Advice welcomed the Office for Fair Trading's (OFT's) decision to refer the payday lending industry to the Competition Commission for a full investigation, saying the lenders' focus on speed "means proper checks fall by the wayside".

Chief executive Gillian Guy claimed payday lenders are "recklessly quick to hand out loans" and should instead focus on the "cost of credit and how they treat customers".

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said it decided to refer payday lenders for a full investigation. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Ms Guy said: "Citizens Advice evidence found that in 64% of cases loans come without any checks to make sure the borrower can afford to repay, revealing that lenders aren’t taking the time to establish whether a payday loan is suitable for the customer.

"Debts quickly spiral out of control as those struggling to repay are hit with high interest rates and charges.

"The industry is in desperate need of a transformation from predatory firms to a responsible short-term credit market.”

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