Tory “austerity” causes: “The United Kingdom’s household debt time-bomb”

Seacombe Labour Councillors’ latest motion, on household debt, was presented to council and carried on Monday 11th December 2017 – close on the heels of our previous motion on Universal Credit.
Notice of Motion – ‘The United Kingdom’s household debt time-bomb.’
Moved by Cllr Adrian Jones, seconded by Cllr Paul Stuart

Moved by Cllr Adrian Jones

Council notes that in once prosperous Wirral hardship is increasing, food-banks can scarcely keep up with need, and the government’s withdrawal of central funding is set to significantly increase poverty throughout the Borough.
The Chancellor appears to think that there are no unemployed, more jobs are being created, and the economy is sound. However, in an increasingly low-wage ‘gig economy’ the continuing Tory/LibDem austerity policy continues to increase poverty through wage-depression whilst food-price inflation, housing costs, and increasing travel costs inexorably drive millions of low-income families and individuals (who may be in work or not in work) into unsustainable household debt. Many who are in paid employment earn so little that they qualify for benefits – a transfer payment of funds from the public purse to subsidise a low-wage “austerity” culture. Council notes that the present UK generation still anticipate becoming the first to receive lower life-time earnings than their parents and to be unlikely ever to earn enough to become home-owners.

Seconded by Cllr Paul Stuart

The rapid expansion of private debt was recognised as early as 2015 when Ian Duncan Smith’s right wing ‘think tank’ warned that household debt had risen by more than £34 billion in less than three years and stood at £1.47 trillion – the highest ever recorded. Almost nine million people were ‘over indebted’ through credit card borrowing, bank overdrafts, and pay-day loans. The IDS findings are vindicated by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation’s research, revealing that as many as fifteen million UK people are now in serious debt just trying to pay their ordinary living bills. The extent of hardship is illustrated in Wirral’s formerly prosperous shopping centres where major retailers are closing to be replaced increasingly by charity shops and pawn-broking businesses, and by the dependency of so many people (including many who are in paid employment) on charities and food banks.

Supported by Cllr Chris Jones

Council calls on this ‘hard-right’ government, that inflicts needless hardship onto the most vulnerable people of Wirral and the UK, whilst fattening the wallets of the very rich, to accept it is failing and let the people judge its credibility through an early general election.
Council agrees to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and ask him to recognise the growing problem of household debt on the poorest families on Wirral and to reconsider his welfare policies.

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