Covid-19 has caused household debt to skyrocket and forced millions of families into rent arrears, new research has found.
The StepChange Charity said Covid-related household debt had hit £10.3 billion since the start of the pandemic and called on the government to provide more targeted support.
Phil Andrew, the charity’s chief executive, said the country was “sleep-walking” into a crisis and the worst was “yet to come” if the government didn’t change course.
“Despite a bold initial reaction to the pandemic, the government and financial services sector’s toolkit of responses has not evolved, and the result is a spiralling number of people being plunged into debt due to Covid-19,” he said.
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The new report found the number of people affected by Covid who are in “severe problem debt”, defined as meeting three or more of the charities eight indicators, has risen to 1.2 million, nearly doubling since March.