Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Only Santa Should Be In The Red This Christmas

11th December 2006

Christmas could break the bank for the more than 6.6 million people already behind on payments, the Legal Services Commission (LSC) warned today launching its Christmas debt awareness campaign. The campaign asks shoppers to think of the debt they may be racking up ahead of January when the bills arrive. The LSC pays for legal aid, including debt advice, and last year calls for debt help to the Community Legal Service Direct phone line in January doubled the calls logged for December.

In 2006 debt became a more serious problem in the UK than ever as households struggled to cope with debt totalling 1.1trillion, that's more than 16,500 worth of debt for every man, woman and child in the UK.

6.6 million people reported being three months or more behind with payments on their regular commitments. Individuals declaring themselves insolvent have risen 95% Bankruptcies are up by nearly a third. Home possession orders have jumped 66% and repossessions 47%

The average personal debt of visitors to advice agencies has topped 30,000.

Only Santa should be in the red this Christmas in around 5,000 locations such as pubs, church halls, Christmas markets and job centres. Caroyln Regan, Chief Executive of the Legal Services Commission said:"It's difficult to avoid expense at this time of year but tackling debt problems early is the key to staying afloat. Keep track of your spending, know how much you owe and if you are in trouble call for help now. Getting help now can help you avoid bailiffs, eviction and disconnection from utilities in January.

Fifty percent of households with serious debt problems have an annual income of less than 7,500. That means Christmas debt can mean a choice between not eating or having the power cut off when January bills arrive." Pensioner, Arthur Finch (not his real name) couldn't afford to eat when his creditors pushed for higher monthly payments on his debts worth more than 30,000. He was threatened with a bailiff's visit when he told two of his creditors there was no way he could increase payments. He lives in sheltered accommodation and has no assets.

After getting free civil legal aid from the Legal Services Commission, Arthur * is back on top of his finances. "I never should have been offered so much credit. I can't afford it. I took the loans the bank offered me because Christmas is an expensive time. When I finally called an adviser I was actually frightened and upset. My creditors were pushing me for higher and higher payments, sending threatening letters * and on my pension there was no way I couldn't afford it. I'd already sent them my electricity money. I would recommend my adviser to anyone. She talked to everyone I owed money to and my bills came down to a fair level."

Tips for a debt free Christmas
Using credit or catalogues can be a good way of spreading the cost ofChristmas but you don't want to be paying for this Christmas this time next year.

Don't take on more repayments than you can afford in full within the next few months.

Don't be tempted to keep buying more, set a budget and stick to it.

Gas prices have gone up this year so make sure you budget accordingly. If you are on benefits or over 60 you may be eligible for help with your fuel bill. You might also be able to get a grant to help pay for heating and insulation improvements.

Make sure you know the penalties you might incur if you fail to pay your credit card bill. You could consider switching your balance to a 0% interest deal.If you are having problems paying, let creditors know. They may be able to extend the time you have to pay.If you find yourself in debt problems get advice.

Don't let the bills mount up unopened.

The earlier you get help, the easier and less stressful it will be.

The Legal Services Commission who operate in England And Wales issued this warning but figures apply equally to Scotland

For advice on Debt in Scotland go to -

Highland Council also run a Money Advice service that is also free of charge and is good place to start for any one in the Higland area with concerns about finances or debt.

Inverness (01463) 228709
Wick (01955) 607752
Fort William (01397) 707005


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Redesign continues to deliver improvements
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting.   In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.  
Resurfacing road works on B862 and B851
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: • B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores – Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and • B851 Errogie – Strathnairn – Daviot Bridge – Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House.   Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.  
Highland Council agrees 5-year Capital Programme
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of £482m over the next 5 years.   The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.  
Council Issues More Fines In Caithness For Dog Fouling and Fly Tipping
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling.   A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an £80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a £200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another £80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.  
Council Administration to present a programme of investment
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands.  We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.  
Highland Council to make special case for capital investment
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather.   Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.  
Highland Council Winter Road Condition And School Closure Report For Wednesday 7 March 2018
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at   The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.  
Wick High Finalist In Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.Thumbnail for article : Wick High Finalist In Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.
The £48.5m Wick Community Campus built by Morrison Construction has been announced as a finalist at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.   The project is entered in the category for "Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy" against eight other finalists from across the UK with the winner to be announced during a ceremony at Milton Court Concert Hall on 24 May 2018.  
Partnership for Procurement - Supplying to the Public Sector
A Partnership for Procurement event was held in Inverness today (Thursday 6 March) to raise awareness and the capability of the third sector to successfully bid, supply and deliver services for the public sector.   Partnership for Procurement (P4P) is a new initiative funded through the Scottish Government's 10 Year Social Enterprise Strategy; supporting social enterprises and third sector organisations to better access public contracts and build partnerships.  
Northern Alliance data demonstrates Highland Schools ‘closing the attainment gap'
Across the Northern Alliance local authorities an exciting project has been rolled out to raise attainment in literacy, language and communication.  The programme is being delivered in around 50% of primary schools across the Northern Alliance and is aimed at supporting practitioners to take a developmental approach to supporting early literacy development.  

[Printer Friendly Version]