Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Rising Debt in Flintshire - how to find help

Personal debts are rising and this is causing misery to many families struggling to manage their finances. The Citizen's Advice Bureau in Mold has seen a 39% increase in debt enquiries and bankruptcies have nearly doubled in the past year. This has led to a significant increase in housing repossessions. One of the main problems behind these statistics is the lack of affordable housing available to a population in Flintshire that is growing at 3.6% above the Welsh average. There appears to be a lack of co ordinated policy between the planning department and the housing department, with no one being held accountable for the failings in the system. Labour controlled Flintshire Council's housing department is in crisis and has been for some time. Homelessness in the County is rising. The county is also seeing a rise in debt problems amongst pensioners managing credit card and loan debts. Revaluation of peoples housing in order to introduce council tax rises has hit pensioners and those on low incomes hard. A stealth tax that has implications for those struggling on the margins. Once someone is of pensionable age it is very difficult to raise income as pension income is largely fixed. Help is at hand for those struggling to manage debt and those needing help or advice should contact Chris Bailey at Mold CAB.