Brits ‘hit hard by wage gap’

Millions of people across the country continue to struggle to make ends meet as a result of the ongoing gap between wages and cost of living increases…

Millions of people across the country continue to struggle to make ends meet as a result of the ongoing gap between wages and cost of living increases, which has typified recent years.

According to figures published by Citizens Advice, almost one-third (29 per cent) of Britons currently in work have sought help and advice regarding debt problems between December last year and the end of February – highlighting the considerable pressures many people still find themselves under despite the economic recovery now beginning to take hold.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of national charity Citizens Advice, commented: "People are going out to work but finding that it's more difficult to … cover the rising cost of essentials like food, rent and energy as the long-standing gap between wages and inflation hits workers hard.

"It is important that people are able to get secure work to make sure they have a consistent income and don't find themselves slipping in and out of employment."

That said, even when individuals do secure a long-term job, the level of remuneration they are receiving may fall behind increases in cost of living as a result of ongoing inflationary pressures – the Office for National Statistics revealed consumer price inflation in the UK stood at 1.6 per cent in March.

This may seem a relatively small figure, but with costs associated with essentials like energy, food and water all continuing to rise, it does not take long before people struggling to manage their already-stretched finances fall deeper into debt.

Understanding the importance of receiving expert advice on how to cope when faced with serious debt issues is therefore essential for millions of Britons right now, with self-employed individuals perhaps more at risk than other groups.

Indeed, figures from Citizens Advice showed that in the rolling quarter to the end of February this year, one in ten self-employed Britons sought advice on bankruptcy, compared to seven per cent of individuals in work and five per cent of people who were currently unemployed.

Posted by Joe White

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