Fuel bills and soaring council taxes to blame for debt

Consumers are paying nearly a fifth more on bills than in 2003, with the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) claiming that its average client is now spending an extra £32 per month.

CCCS chairman Malcolm Hurlston warned: “For those on the brink of debt problems, any substantial increase in utility bills or council tax can have dire consequences and push them over the edge.”

This report follows a previous CCCS warning that the number of people owing more than £100,000 had nearly doubled in a year as debt levels rise.

The findings also come as utility companies announce another rise in the price of fuel, although the CCCS said that council tax was the biggest increase in the past three years.

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