Poll finds more than half of BC residents have already lost income

Financial pinch starts to hit

A survey conducted one week ago found more than 50% of B.C. households had already experienced an immediate income reduction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leger Research, on behalf of Bromwich+Smith Licensed Insolvency Trustees, conducted the poll of 750 people in B.C., Alberta and Ontario over a 24-hour period on March 23.

The poll also found that 19% of British Columbians were already behind on bill payments, with credit cards, utilities and cell phone bills the first to lag. The survey indicated 47% of B.C. residents are worried about falling behind at some point in the future.

“The results are quite staggering really,” Leger Research senior vice-president David de Lange said in a press release. “Of course, we get a sense of what is happening when we read the news, but the survey results make it far more real.”

The poll revealed B.C. residents (34%) will reach out for federal and provincial government assistance to help with their financial woes, while another 25% said they didn’t know what to do nor what action they should take immediately.

“During these unprecedented times, it is important that British Columbia residents know it is okay to reach out to professionals for financial advice,” Bromwich+Smith vice-president Jasmine Marra said. “There is no shame in struggling with finances. We are all in this together.

“If you are unable to pay your debts as they become due, B.C. residents need to reach out to access government programs offered, call their mortgage lender to see if a deferral could work for them or call a licensed insolvency trustee to understand if restructuring debts makes sense for their current state.”

Bromwich+Smith has a Kelowna office, but the company is offering video consultations during the pandemic.

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