Nearly 1.6 million people are falling behind on their council tax payments, new research has revealed.
The new Financial Inclusion Study, published by the University of Birmingham and the University of Lincoln, found six in ten of the poorest people are reporting they are in problem debt.
The figures show that as well as council tax debt, nearly one million people are behind with their rent and more than one million people owe money for their water bills.
According to the study, nearly 2.2 million people were contacted by bailiffs last year, while the number of personal insolvencies has increased to over 70,000 from 40,000 in 2015.
Karen Rowlingson, professor of social policy at the University of Birmingham and co-author of the report said: ‘The Government is saying that austerity is over but our research shows that millions of people are still struggling to pay essential bills.
'Much more needs to be done to increase income levels to help people make ends meet.’