A new DEMOS report, ‘Double Whammy’, seeks to map areas where personal debt could increase most in the coming years. With energy bills rising and the cost-of-living going up, the document is an important insight into which places might be hit hardest. This impact could result in people relying on payday or high interest loans, or in rising levels of fuel or food poverty.
The research is based on combining two datasets (as the title of the paper alludes to). Firstly, it looks at local authorities with the greatest financial vulnerability, and secondly, it identifies those with the least access to good credit. As the chart below shows, the correlation between these things is striking. Middlesbrough, Blackpool and Hull are among the places which score highest for both.
Our research has shown how economic hardship can be exploited by those who seek to divide, and can spill over into hostility to migration and multiculturalism. It is vital for all concerned that communities in the most financially vulnerable places are supported through a period of growing financial insecurity.