Single mum with £10,000 in debt despite having worked all her life as the cost of living rises

A single mother has racked up £10,000 in debt as a result of the cost of living crisis affecting families across the UK.

June Butterworth, 44, had to switch from her job as a carer, a job she’d had all her working life, to a cleaner working reduced hours at a nursing home to care for her ailing elderly mother.

Lancashire’s June has racked up mass debt, taking out payday loans for necessities while her bills skyrocket. Lancs Live reports.

Her debts for gas and electricity escalated to more than £1,000, prompting her to cancel a direct debit with the company and use pay-as-you-go instead.

A sudden increase in the cost of living hit a mother of two like a bomb.

“When I heard the news that the cost of living was going up, I was shocked,” June said.

“It’s a nightmare to keep track of things. How are people supposed to survive? I can’t stop crying because you’ve been working all your life…it’s hard.

“The future looks like bankruptcy and I didn’t think that could happen to me. Even if you go to a debt company, you can still go bankrupt. It can happen to anyone.”

Most of the debt June owes is council tax and as a result she has been threatened with legal costs and debt deeds are littering her home.

After splitting from her partner, she had to take time off from work to look after her two young sons, who are now 26 and 22 years old. Her family helped her with childcare to avoid piling up debt.

June works 32.5 hours a week and earns £1,250 a month before tax and a £100 Universal Credit allowance, but after tax and funding needs she finds she hasn’t got any spare change.

She pays £445 a month in rent and over £100 a week for grocery shopping to support herself and her sons – as well as gas, electricity and water bills. Even when she worked over 40 hours a week, she still struggled to pay bills on time.

Her youngest son works part-time, but her eldest has been unemployed since his workplace told him the company can no longer afford to retain employees under the government’s Kickstart program because the minimum wage has risen.

She has been forced to make sacrifices in her social life to deal with mounting debt and has cut back on taxi sharing and clothing purchases.

She pays £195 each month to Christians Against Poverty (CAP), a debt center she has worked at for a year, to pay off her debt and says she was told by them it would take around two and a half years to settle to settle them.

However, since her wages have not matched the recent increase in the cost of living, it will take her at least three years to pay it off.

Christians Against Poverty’s (CAP) Rossendale Debt Center provides a free at-home debt counseling service for those with unmanageable debt within the BB4 and OL13 ZIP Codes. To contact CAP, call 0800 328 0006.

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