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UK household debt soars in 2018: TUC survey
Last Updated: 2019-01-08 10:19 | Xinhua
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British household debt increased sharply in 2018, a survey published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), a national trade union centre, showed on Monday.

According to the figures, unsecured debt per household, referring to debt other than mortgages, rose to 15,385 British pounds in the third quarter of 2018, up 886 pounds a year earlier.

Total unsecured debt soared to 428 billion British pounds in the third quarter of 2018, hitting a record high and significantly exceeding the 286-billion-pound peak in 2008 ahead of the financial crisis.

Unsecured debt as a share of household income currently stands at 30.4 percent, which is also far above the 27.5 percent level registered in 2008.

"Working families on average are worse off today than before the financial crisis. This means millions of households are reliant on borrowing to get by," the TUC said.

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of TUC, said: "Household debt is at crisis level. Years of austerity and wage stagnation have pushed millions of families deep into the red.

"The government is skating on thin ice by relying on household debt to drive growth. A strong economy needs people spending wages, not credit cards and loans," she said.

She added that the British economy is not working for workers, who need stronger rights and bargaining powers. "Trade unions should be allowed the freedom to enter every workplace to negotiate higher wages," she said. (1 British pound = 1.28 U.S. dollars)

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