Working Families Struggle To Make Ends Meet

There was an interesting article in the media recently which involved some research from Norris Green. This shows the difficulty a lot of people are having not only in our area but across the country. Click the link below to read the full article. We’ve highlighted some of the article below.

Life expectancy in Norris Green, where many of the families live, is four to five years lower than the national average, and Lynn Wallace, who manages Norris Green Credit Union, attributes it to health problems arising from poverty. She has seen both an increase in customers since the advent of welfare reform, and an escalation in the severity of cases coming through the door.

“One of the most punitive measures in Norris Green is the bedroom tax. People are becoming more transient, as they move into short-term private tenancies,” Wallace says. “Older people who have lived all their life somewhere, who are now caring for grandchildren nearby, are having to downsize and leave the area. And to have contributed tax and national insurance for most of your life, and then find yourself moving from home to home in the private sector, is an absolute disgrace.”

Jones pulls out a list of the most common debts reported to North Liverpool CAB before the recession, and now. In 2008, the most common debts were credit cards, unsecured personal loans and catalogue debts. Now, council tax arrears is the most common, making up 17.5% of all debts reported to them: more than double the rate it was seven years ago. The next most common debt categories: water bills, fuel debt, rent arrears, and magistrates’ fines for non-payment of TV licences, illustrate the extent to which households in the area are struggling to pay even basic bills. “We’re finding people working well into their 70s and 80s just to make ends meet,” says Helen McKeown, an advice session supervisor at North Liverpool CAB. “It affects everyone.”


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