Barbara Keeley

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR WORSLEY AND ECCLES SOUTH

Breathing Space Campaign

I have been contacted by constituents who are concerned about the issue of debt and telling me about their support for the idea of a "Breathing Space" scheme.

A "Breathing Space" scheme would give people a period without interest, charges or debt collection activity while they seek advice and try to improve their financial situation. The idea has been supported by both the debt charity StepChange and The Children's Society.

In 2015 the Conservative Government accepted the need to conduct an in-depth review of this by the end of the year. Unfortunately, the review is still ongoing.

I appreciate the very serious problems that can be caused by personal debt. I am concerned that many young people are facing a lifetime of debt and uncertainty while the Conservative Government is not going far enough to protect families from falling into unmanageable debt.

Total household debt rose to £1,834 billion at the end of September 2016. While prices are rising, earnings are still below where they were before the financial crash and people are struggling to make ends meet.

I hope that the Conservative Government will listen to the very serious concerns raised by organisations and individuals regarding household debt.

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