March 2017 – Families in Debt/”Breathing Space” Campaign

March 2017 – Families in Debt/”Breathing Space” Campaign

Thank you for your recent email regarding families in debt and the “Breathing Space” campaign.

The Families with Children and Young People in Debt (Respite) Bill, introduced by Kelly Tolhurst MP, would place a duty on lenders to provide financial respite for families with children and young people in debt.

I am pleased that the Government is committed to exploring whether some form of ‘breathing space’ would be a useful and viable addition to the range of debt solutions. HM Treasury and the Insolvency Service have been asked to explore and identify possible options and have begun work on a review.

Further to this, action has been taken to reduce levels of personal debt. Household debt as a proportion of income has fallen to 142 per cent in 2016, down from a peak of 160 per cent in 2008. The Government’s plan for a higher wage, lower welfare society makes it easier for families and working people to save, and includes the new National Living Wage which will mean a pay boost for 1.7 million workers this year.

I will await with interest the outcome of the HM Treasury/Insolvency Service review before deciding specifically what further action I support, but I am pleased that this problem is being considered properly and in detail.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.