That Sinking Feeling

A revealing insight into the extent of Leeds’ current problems is offered today by the YEP in the form of some recent statistics from the Leeds Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Title “Thousands in Leeds falling into misery of debt trap”, the article offers the suprisingly candid assessment of the economic shape of the city:

This is the latest picture of a city creaking under the weight of unpaid credit and loans. The problem is so great that consumer champions at Leeds CAB in the city centre are at breaking point.

Loss of jobs is also a real concern in Leeds with CAB recording a 61 per cent increase in the number of employment-related enquiries.

Redundancy has become the biggest worry with 115 per cent more enquiries made between April and December in 2008 than in 2007.

This is a gloomy but very necessary assesment of Leeds’ situation and Tiberius thanks Sophie Hazan for bringing it to Leeds’ attention.

What is concerning though is this story tacked onto the end when it should, in actuality, have been the front page headline:

BRITAIN’S biggest credit union is continuing to seek an emergency bailout of millions in public funds after an internal investigation revealed its accounts were in disarray and it was close to financial collapse.

Leeds City Credit Union (LCCU) is hoping to secure at least £4m in funding from the Government, Leeds City Council and regional regeneration agency Yorkshire Forward.

It insists all members’ money is safe, as it was covered by the Government’s investment protection scheme which covers up to £50,000 in savings.

Tiberius warns: “Don’t accept too many guarantees from a Government that may itself be on the brink of bankruptcy (here, here, here ) if it is not, as some believe (here, here), bankrupt already”

P.S., Tiberius’s cynical-scoff of the day came from reading the advice in this article that ‘perhaps you could turn a hobby into an income, such as hosting a tupperware party’ -he fears no amount of convenient storage items are going to fix Leeds’ underlying problems.

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