THE prospective parliamentary candidate for Thurrock (Lab) Polly Billington has reacted with anger at the news that the Purlfeet and West Thurrock areas are in the “top ten” in the UK for unsecured loans.
An unsecured loan included pay day loans but may also be credit and debt cards.
Ms Billington said: “People take out loans (for example) for all sorts of reasons so we should be wary of jumping to conclusions.
However, debts like this, especially when they are high, can get out of control and make it harder for people to manage their money.
“The reality is people in Thurrock, not just in these two postcodes highlighted by the research, are struggling because of the rising cost of living, often driving them to borrow for day to day outgoings. A energy price freeze, a cap on train fare rises, more affordable homes and childcare for working families as well as better wages would all improve the lives of people who live and work here.
“That’s what Labour is fighting for. Thurrock’s Conservative MP has voted to increase VAT and cut taxes for millionaires: the result is families are on average £1600 a year worse off since 2010.”
West Thurrock and South Stifford councillor, Andy Smith said: “I have met many residents in Purfleet and West Thurrock who are really struggling to get by because of benefit cuts and huge gas and electric bills.
“I am not surprised they have gone for help anywhere they can find it. I have helped them apply for benefits and hardship loans but things are getting harder and harder for many.
Evictions are becoming more common with many owners selling their houses and evicting their tenants. Homelessness is also on the rise in my ward. And case work helping residents has rocketted this year.”