A single mother has racked up £10,000 in debt as a result of the cost of living crisis affecting families across the UK.
June Butterworth, 44, had to switch from her job as a carer, a job she had had her entire working life, to a cleaner working reduced hours at a nursing home to care for her ailing elderly mother.
June, from Lancashire, has racked up massive debt and taken out payday loans for necessities as her bills skyrocket. Lancs Live Reports.
Her gas and electricity debt rose to more than £1,000, forcing her to write off a direct debit with the company and use pay-as-you-go instead.
For a mother of two, the sudden increase in the cost of living hit like a bombshell.
“When I heard the news that the cost of living was going up, I was shocked,” said June.
“It’s a nightmare to keep track of. How are people supposed to survive? I can’t stop crying because you work all your life… it’s hard.
“The future looks like bankruptcy and I didn’t think this could happen to me. Even if you go to a debt company, you can still end up bankrupt. It can happen to anyone.”
Most of June’s debt is council tax and as a result she has been threatened with court costs and debt letters are littering her house.
After separating from her partner, she had to take time off work to care for her two young children, who are now 26 and 22 years old. Her family helped her with childcare to keep her debts from increasing.
June works 32 1/2 hours a week and earns £1,250 before taxes each month, and gets a £100 universal credit allowance, but after taxes and financing needs, she finds she doesn’t have much change.
She pays £445 a month for rent and more than £100 a week for groceries to feed herself and her children, as well as gas, electricity and water bills. Even when she worked more than 40 hours a week, she still had a hard time paying bills on time.
His youngest son works part-time, but his oldest has been unemployed since his workplace told him the company could no longer afford to keep employees under the government’s Kickstart Plan because the minimum wage had increased.
She has been forced to make sacrifices with her social life to keep up with mounting debts, and has cut back on sharing taxis and buying clothes.
Every month he pays Christians Against Poverty (CAP), a debt center he has been with for a year, £195 to pay off his debts and says he was told it would take about two and a half years to clear them.
However, because his salary doesn’t match the recent cost-of-living increase, it will take him at least three years to pay them off.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Rossendale Debt Center offers a free home debt counseling service for people with unmanageable debt within the BB4 and OL13 zip codes. To contact the CAP call 0800 328 0006.
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