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The seaside towns hit by a rising tide of debt

UK Business 2017/10/16 at 3:00 PM

The Isle of Wight has the highest level of insolvencies amongst young adults, according to the Insolvency Service, followed by Torbay and Scarborough.

Overall the number of 18 to 34 year-olds becoming insolvent rose by 31.3% between 2015 and 2016.

It comes ahead of a possible rise in interest rates as soon as next month.

Any increase would be the first in the UK for over ten years – and would inevitably make borrowing more expensive.

Coastal communities tend to be the worst affected because much of the work is low-paid and seasonal.

Daniel and his wife Laura – who live on the Isle of Wight – have joint debts of around £30,000.

He works full time in construction, while she looks after their two-year old son. They’re both 28 years old.

Unable to pay for food, they built up debts of £7,000 on a credit card. They also owed £3,000 in council tax.

“At one point, to survive, we had chickens. We were living off eggs. Just eggs, bread and milk, because that’s all we could afford,” says Daniel.

But things got even more serious than that.

“I couldn’t have been in a worse place,” says Laura. ” I had depression and anxiety, and I was pregnant. At times I even felt suicidal.

“And that’s the worst thing, because I look back and think If I’d ever gone through with that then my son wouldn’t be here. I didn’t want to exist.”

Daniel is in the process of declaring himself bankrupt, while Laura has applied for a Debt Relief Order (DRO), a separate form of insolvency.

Brian Milligan

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