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Millions Struggling to Pay Council Tax and Other Essential Bills
Published: 8th October 2019, 1:45pm  (updated 8th October 2019, 1:46pm)
Millions struggling to pay council tax and other essential bills Poverty is increasing in the UK even among those in work, according to new research.

Research from the University of Lincoln and the University of Birmingham shows that nearly 1.6 million people are falling behind with council tax payments, more than 1 million people are behind on their water bills and almost 1 million people are behind with their rent.  

The Financial Inclusion Monitor report, published by the University of Birmingham, also shows that more than eight million of those living in poverty have at least one person in paid employment in their family.

Karen Rowlingson, Professor of Social Policy and Deputy Director of the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM) at the University of Birmingham and co-author of the report said: "The government is saying that austerity is over but our research shows that millions of people are still struggling to pay essential bills.  Much more needs to be done to increase income levels to help people make ends meet."

The report also found that although unemployment is in decline, average weekly earnings have not yet returned to levels seen before the 2008 financial crash.  

Co-author Steve McKay, Distinguished Professor in Social Research at the University of Lincoln said: “The record on jobs remains very positive, but despite growing numbers in paid work many families remain poor. This is our last report before a likely Brexit. Any return to harsher economic conditions risks worsening such trends”.

The report can be read at https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/chasm/financial-inclusion
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