THE Mersey Gateway could financially bust one in six commuters.

The tolls will add approximately £80 to their monthly bills.

Worrying times indeed for many families here in the north west.

The Mersey Gateway tolls along with the expected rise in interest rate this week will see one in six households become financially bust, and many more falling behind with mortgages and becoming dependant on food banks to feed their families.

Reports say half of the UK population is financially vulnerable, with one in six people unable to cope with a £50 increase in monthly bills, according to a survey by Britain’s personal finances regulator.

The Financial Conduct Authority’s biggest ever survey of households found that 4.1 million people are already in serious financial difficulty, falling behind with bills and credit card payments, with 25 to 34-year-olds the most over-indebted.

The Financial Lives survey of 13,000 consumers is an attempt by the regulator to assess how many individuals are facing financial harm and it paints an alarming picture of growing debt and credit problems across the UK.

Young people are borrowing to cover basic living costs, warns the City watchdog.

Findings include:

  • 50 per cent of adults (25.6 million people) display one or more characteristics that signal their potential vulnerability
  • Just under eight million are over-indebted
  • 4.5 million adults have been turned down for a financial product in the past two years
  • One in six (17 per cent) would struggle if their monthly mortgage or rent increased by less than £50.

The figures will increase concern among policymakers over how British households will cope with a rise in interest rates.

Conn O’Dwyer