A survey of 857 CAP clients finds that households in debt to local or central government are more likely to be on a low income and vulnerable, as well as facing hardship because of debt:
- 64% live below the poverty line and 55% have mental ill-health
- 69% had skipped meals due to debt and 46% were unable to afford toiletries and hygiene products
- They are 81% more likely to have been afraid to leave the house and 41% more likely to have considered suicide as a way out of debt
The most common types of debt are Council Tax arrears, Social Fund Budgeting Loans and benefit or tax credit overpayments, and more than half (54%) have owed multiple types.
Focus groups with CAP’s debt advisers give insight into the reasons behind these client experiences and how these can also create barriers for advisers to bring stability and debt relief where there is local or central government debt collection. These are set out in the diagram below.
Download the briefing paper below to read more.