1 in 5 families on the brink

AS purse strings are pulled ever tighter, a new survey has found one in five families are so financially stretched they need help to make ends meet.

Almost 22 per cent of people said if bills rose any higher they would not be able to cope.

Another 30 per cent said if their living costs rose by another £100 it would tip them over the edge.

Other worries include not being able to meet mortgage payments and not being able to save spare cash.

Of the 2,170 people questioned by financial website moneysupermarket.com, 28 per cent of people said they were stressed about money and 10 per cent meant they were losing sleep over counting the pounds.

The figures come as Calderdale Citizens’ Advice Bureau has had its busiest ever year.

In the last year their volunteers have handled more than 11,000 calls, with 7,291 new clients contacting them for advice. Chief Executive Rory Deighton said the news thatv families were struggling was no surprise.

“These figures don’t come as much of a surprise to us as we’ve had our busiest ever year with people coming to us for debt and money advice.

“Times are hard for people across Calderdale, especially families but they should know there are groups, like CAB, who are there to help.”

Many homes have seen their outgoings rise by an average of £54 per week in the past six months, leaving them with just £247 spare for outgoings.

He said the continuation of their funding from Calderdale Council meant they would be able to continue to offer free, impartial advice to those in need.

“We’re lucky to be able to continue to help people as a result of the council working in real partnership with us and maintaining our funding, and we’re grateful to our teams of volunteers without whom the service could not exist,” he said.

l What do you think? Should more be being done to help people with their finances? E-mail us: yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk

To speak to an advisor, visit the Citizens’ Advice Bureau in Harrison Road or call 01422 842848.