Household debt £300bn! Council evictions soar! Bring capitalism down!

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HOUSEHOLD debt in UK is worse than at any time on record a new report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows.

Credit cards, pay day loans, furniture and TVs on hire purchase and banking overdrafts have amounted to the biggest debt to date. PwC said its own measure showed households combined debts have risen above £300bn. The ONS said that British households have become the most indebted in the whole of Western Europe.

The Bank of England warned last year that Britain’s consumer credit bubble of more than £200bn was unsustainable and threatened to trigger a new crash. StepChange, which provides advice for indebted households, said the poorest were in constant need of credit to keep their heads above water.

The charity’s chief executive, Phil Andrew, criticised the ONS for claiming that households were ‘living beyond their means’. He said: ‘It’s really unfortunate that this very useful data is so heavily sprinkled with the phrase that households are “living beyond their means”. The reality is that too many households, here in Britain, in 2018, simply cannot make ends meet, however hard they try.’

The source of the crisis is that the Tories have spent ten years slashing benefits & driving wages down, forcing especially young people onto zero hours contract jobs, Uber this and Uber that, where you have no idea how many hours a week of work you are going to get, and therefore no guarantee of being able to pay your rent, let alone pay your gas, electric, council tax & food.

Tens of thousands of families are relying on pay day loans to pay their bills, staving off eviction by a quick fix with serious consequences. Pay day loans have a typical repayment rate of 1,250% APR! Pay day loan companies are in other words legal loan sharks. Families are up to their eyeballs in debt and when you can’t pay, the companies send round the bailiffs to take your possessions, or turf you out on the streets.

The Treasury Select Committee said that local councils are also ‘sending round the heavies’ to collect debts from hard-pressed families. Taking a leaf out of the loan shark school of debt collection, the committee said that local councils are often ‘worse than consumer creditors and can be very aggressive and quick to use bailiffs.’

The Treasury Select Committee says debts and overpayments are often pursued ‘over-zealously and uncompromisingly’ by councils. The current approach risks driving vulnerable, struggling people into further debt and homelessness, the committee says. In its report ‘Household finances: income, savings and debt’, Citizens Advice head of policy, Matt Upton said some bailiffs are extremely ‘heavy-handed’, ‘We’ve seen cases where people have been marched to ATMs to make payments.’

One debtor from Dorset explained how she felt after being chased for a debt by bailiffs. She said: ‘I want to die. They have made me feel so ill and scared. I cannot go outside the house and I keep my windows closed even when it’s hot.’ Councils who are determined to sell-off their council estates are using bailiffs and police to evict entire families, even if they do not owe a penny rent. All so that the council can empty the blocks and sell off the land.

After the economic crash of 2007-8 the bankers were bailed out, using £2.4tn of taxpayers money. By doing this the banking debt was transferred over to national debt. Then over the last ten years, through ten years of Tory austerity, that national debt has been transferred to personal debt. The rulers of this country are making the working class pay for the capitalist crisis.

However, in dumping the entire weight of the economic crisis onto the backs of the working class, the ruling class has created an army of millions of angry workers and youth who absolutely hate this government, despise the rich and want to get rid of the ruling class and its system. This is why building the WRP, the revolutionary leadership if the working class, to organise the taking of power by the workiing class is so vital. So don’t waste a moment. Join the WRP and its YS youth section straight away! Forward to the British Socialist Revolution!