Shock new savings stats “absolutely” show North-South divide, Leeds MP says

Leeds West Labour MP Rachel Reeves.
Leeds West Labour MP Rachel Reeves.
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A Leeds MP has said that new figures which reveal that half of Yorkshire’s workers have less than £100 in savings “absolutely” show a North-South divide.

Money Saving Advice’s statistics released yesterday show that 50.9 per cent of working age people in Yorkshire and the Humber have only that rough amount as a buffer – compared to just 30.1 per cent in the South East.

Leeds West Labour MP Rachel Reeves said: “London and the South East have rebounded quickly from the financial crash.

“Bank bonuses are back up to where they were before the crash.

“All the working people are still struggling, particularly in the North of England.”

The former Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions added: “Talks about the Northern Powerhouse seem to have been just words.”

And Leeds-based debt advice charity Step Change has warned yesterday that savings are vitally important to staying away from financial troubles.

Senior public policy advocate Joseph Surtees said: “About half the people who come to us are in difficulty if they’ve had some sort of economic shock.”

These could include losing a job, unexpected car repairs or overdraft charges.

He warned that if people fall back one payment for more than one to two months, it 
could lead to a decade of struggling.

In Castleford, a foodbank which was opened to tackle crisis levels of poverty in the town has given out enough meals to feed the its entire population.

Trinity Mission has made a fresh appeal for donations after volunteers handed out the 10,000th food parcel. The organisation has also served 30,000 meals in the time it has been open after being set up.

To donate to Trinity Mission or find out about volunteering, e-mail Mark Stainburn at mark@trinitymission.org.uk or call 07834 770017.

Saphieh Ashtiany, the equality and employment lawyer

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