Unemployed Scots facing debt crisis

Image caption,
16% of employees have unsecured debt of between £5,000-£10,000

More than a quarter of Scots would not be able to pay their bills a month after losing their job, according to research.

The survey, by the insolvency trade body R3, found 26.5% would have to default on their bills after being made redundant after four weeks.

More than half (57%) said they would be in financial trouble within six months.

Last week the Insolvency Service said 400 Scots a week were made bankrupt between July and September.

John Hall, Scottish R3 council member, said the figures highlighted the precarious financial state that many Scots faced.

He said: "Given that the level of public sector employment in Scotland is so great, then it is of considerable concern to find so many people may be in serious trouble if they lose their jobs due to the cuts imposed by the Comprehensive Spending Review."

The survey also found 16% of employed people have unsecured debts of between £5,000-£10,000, while 7% of unemployed people have debts between £10,000-£25,000.

'No safety net'

Mr Hall added: "The survey also reveals the state of serious indebtedness which many Scots have making them even more susceptible to a rapid decline into bankruptcy if they lose their job.

"The worrying aspect of this is that these debts are probably really very old and are a hangover from the high spending period up to 2007 and 2008."

"Unfortunately for many Scots there is no safety net if interest rates start to rise or if they lose their jobs."

He said that "too many people" had little room for manoeuvre in their finances, leaving them vulnerable to personal insolvency.

He warned that there could be a further wave of personal insolvencies over the next year as individuals lost their jobs and quickly became unable to meet their financial commitments.

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