The call for a new scheme to help thousands of families regain control of their finances has been welcomed by Polegate MP Maria Caulfield.
Data from the Bank of England has shown that unsecured household debt is an issue for many families. Unfortunately, debt often strikes when people are at their most vulnerable, such as a loss of a job or ill health.
Aggressive action from creditors and pressure to pay debts at an unaffordable rate can lead families to cut back on everyday essentials such as food, or take out more expensive and toxic loans and thus exacerbate their debt crisis.
Analysis from The Children’s Society shows that children in low-income families with multiple debts are more likely to suffer from mental health issues than equivalent families with fewer debts.
Therefore, Maria has joined with other MPs to call for an introduction of a ‘Breathing Space’ scheme that would offer people seeking debt advice a 12 month legal protection from mounting interest, charges and enforcement action.
This would build upon protections offered under the Debt Arrangement Scheme in Scotland, which has made sure that families sticking to an affordable repayment plan agreed with their creditors are not harried or hassled for the duration of that plan.
Maria commented, “In my constituency, there are an estimated 2192 children living in 1259 families that are facing problem debt. I fully support the initiative proposed by The Children’s Society and StepChange as it simultaneously provides safeguards to protect struggling families and intrinsically benefits our children’s mental health.”
You can read more about this cause and sign its petition here.