Stepchange believes that there are nearly 700,000 people in Scotland in, or at risk of, problem debt. It’s primarily a symptom of poverty, poor housing conditions, welfare cuts, ill-health, and insecure work.
The report found that that there is more consumer debt with Council Tax arrears. In 2018, 46% of clients were in Council Tax arrears. They owed, on average, £2,017 in arrears.
The Head of StepChange Debt Charity Scotland, Sharon Bell, is particularly troubled by mounting Council Tax debts. She said “I am increasingly alarmed by the increases in the proportion of our clients who are struggling with household bills, particularly Council Tax.”
Our research shows that our clients in Scotland are significantly more likely to have Council Tax arrears compared to elsewhere in the UK.”
“We are seeing a record level of demand for help with problem debt with over a third of our clients having an additional vulnerability, such as illness.”
“We need more signposting to free debt advice, as the earlier someone gets debt advice the greater their options may be and the less harm they could experience.”