July 2017 – Families in Debt – UPDATE

July 2017 – Families in Debt – UPDATE

Thank you for contacting me about families in debt.

While I have previously written about this issue [here], I thought the following procedural update would be useful: The Families with Children and Young People in Debt (Respite) Bill, introduced by Kelly Tolhurst MP, would have placed a duty on lenders to provide financial respite for families with children and young people in debt. The Bill was introduced in the 2016-17 parliamentary session, and would have to be reintroduced in the new Parliament.

I understand that the Government has committed to exploring whether some form of ‘breathing space’ would be a useful and viable addition to the range of debt solutions that are currently offered – and this commitment has not changed with the new Parliament. HM Treasury and the Insolvency Service have been asked to explore and identify possible options and have begun work on a review.

The Government has also taken a number of steps to reform consumer credit, including taking action on high-cost short-term credit, and a comprehensive Financial Conduct Authority study into the credit card market.

It is also important to improve the help and advice available to those who may face debt problems. In 2016-17 the Money Advice Service put £45 million towards debt advice in the UK, which funded over 380,000 appointments.

Measures have also been taken to encourage household saving, including the Help to Save scheme for those on low incomes, and the new personal savings allowance.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.