WE are in a recession that is likely to last two or three years at least.

The cost of living is going up, wages are not and jobs are being lost. And people are turning to credit cards to make ends meet.

A survey from moneysupermarket.com says that 11 million people are using them every month when their bank balance runs low.

On average, they run out of money three weeks after pay day and use a credit card for cash. One in 10 of them resort to plastic just two weeks after pay day.

This is an appalling statistic that will lead many people into debt from which they may never recover. It’s one thing reading about a nation in dire straits but it is suddenly real when people are affected by something as insidious and deadly as credit card debt.