Laura Sharman 23 April 2020

Report uncovers high debt levels in Northern England and Wales

People living in large cities and towns in Northern England and Wales have the most debt and will be hit hardest by a post-Covid economic downturn, research has found.

Centre for Cities has mapped debt levels in England and Wales for the first time.

The research discovered that those in Northern England and Wales have the highest level of debt relative to their incomes, owing £1 for every £5 they earn.

Meanwhile those living in Oxford and Cambridge owe just 35p for every £5 they earn.

Centre for Cities chief executive, Andrew Carter, said: ‘To avoid people without a decent financial cushion falling into severe hardship, lenders should continue to offer relief to those in debt, and the Government should reduce the wait time for the first Universal Credit payment down from five weeks.

’Failure to support people with high levels of debt during this crisis will have a broader negative impact on the local economies of places where people are indebted – particularly those in Northern England and Wales.’

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