People in Hull and Bradford most likely to have been put into debt by pandemic

  • Video report by Jon Hill

People in half of the neighbourhoods of Hull and Bradford are most likely to have been pushed into debt by the pandemic according to a new report.

The Centre for Cities Think Tank found that people in many parts of Northern England face an "avalanche" of debt trying to meet the cost of essentials due to pandemic job losses, furlough and a lack of savings.

The group have said that the withdrawal of government support from these areas will set back the "levelling-up" agenda for the North of England.

They have also warned that the backlog in the court system and eviction ban that was in place until May 31 means that people in debt have not yet felt the full effects of their economic situation.

On the other hand, York has seen more people saving during the pandemic than most other areas.

Centre for Cities' Chief Executive, Andrew Carter, said: "The pandemic has left this country more divided than ever.

"While people in mostly prosperous southern cities and towns have accumulated £150 billion of savings, many less affluent people in the North and Midlands will face an avalanche of debt as Government support ends later this year."

The group are recommending that the £20 uplift to Universal Credit remains in place and that the furlough scheme remains for industries that cannot fully re-open.

The government told ITV News they have deliberately gone long-term with support that has protected the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people across Yorkshire.

They added that measures like the furlough scheme and uplift to Universal Credit were running until September.

  • Christians Against Poverty CEO Paula Stringer speaks to ITV News

The Bradford debt-counselling charity, Christians Against Poverty, said that it would take the average Yorkshire household in debt 28 years to pay off what they owe.

The group have 18 debt groups across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire who offer help to people.

The latest report found that:

CAP’s CEO, Paula Stringer, says: "Our latest report gives just a glimpse of how much the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s lives. I believe there are millions of more families in debt across the UK still suffering in silence."

She added: "Despite all the challenges of the last year, we want everyone to know there is hope.

"There are charities out there who can offer free, expert help out of debt. Getting debt help can quickly relieve the pressure, ease the strain on people's mental health and help them get their lives back on track."

If you are in debt and need help