YEP Says, October 31: Rising debt levels show benefits cuts have gone too far

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...and is Hallowe’en a commercial trick or a treat for youngsters?

THE Tory-led Government under David Cameron had no option but to get to grips with a spiralling benefits bill that plunged Britain in the red while doing little to encourage people to get back into work.

Yet there must be real concern that the resulting shake-up has gone too far, too soon.

For many the cost of living crisis is being exacerbated by benefit cuts that have left them with unmanageable debt.

A survey has found that almost half of families across Leeds who owe money say they are unsure when – or even if – they will be able to pay it back.

And an increasing number are worried about getting further into debt, while others are reducing repayments in an attempt to make ends meet.

Such hand-to-mouth living is a problem for the whole of society, not just those who are at the sharp end.

The fact is that many households, including those in low-paid employment, are struggling to keep their heads above water and are having to borrow simple to be able to cope on a week-to-week basis.

Not only does the Government need to look again at its benefits reforms but it must also do more to promote the idea of a Living Wage.

If people cannot afford to live without sinking deeper into debt then society as a whole will end up paying the price for bailing them out.

A commercial trick or a treat for youngsters?

IT’S an annual event that tends to split public opinion.

Is Hallowe’en a bit of much-needed fun, or is it just a tacky import from across the Atlantic?

One key element that has its fair share of critics is trick or treating, both from a safety point of view and the fact that some people find it a nuisance.

Some communities have now taken the sensible step of putting posters in the windows of homes willing to take part so that everybody else is left in peace.

But whatever your take on Hallowe’en there’s no question that it provides a lot of enjoyment for a lot of people – and given the way it sets shop tills ringing, it isn’t going anywhere soon.

People attend a multi-faith vigil in St Ann's Square, Manchester, to remember the victims of the Manchester terror attack. PIC: PA

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