Thumbs up for policy change to help people out of debt

People in Wallasey with problem debt, including those facing mental health problems, will be helped by the government to get their finances under control, new figures released today show.

A 60-day breathing space period will see enforcement action from creditors halted and interest frozen for people with problem debt. During this period, individuals will receive professional debt advice to find a long-term solution to their financial difficulties.

As well as this, those receiving mental health crisis treatment will receive the same protections until their treatment is complete.

The impact assessment for breathing space, published today, forecasts that it will help more than 700,000 people across the UK get professional help in its first year.

Of this, 25,000 to 50,000 people in mental health crisis treatment are expected to benefit from breathing space every year.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, said: "Being trapped in debt can be an incredibly difficult experience, and with interest and potential enforcement action to contend with, it’s no surprise how stressful the impact can be.

"Today’s figures underline just how critical it is that we roll out this policy, particularly on a day like today, where we should all work to reduce the stigma of mental health issues.

"That’s why we will introduce breathing space in early 2021 as planned, so we can level up the whole country and help millions of people to rid themselves of problem debt.

Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, added: "Breathing Space will provide a powerful new incentive for people in problem debt to seek the free advice they need, and give them the time and protections necessary to get back on the road to financial health.

"We are particularly pleased that debts to local authorities and other government creditors will be included. Breathing Space will make a real difference to people in problem debt – and we look forward to playing our part in making this scheme a success."

Now, Councillor Ian Lewis has written to the Chief Executive of Wirral Borough Council to seek assurances that the Authority is prepared to assist people with the new policy.  

Ian said: "30 years ago, I started my working life helping people across Merseyside to get out of debt and avoid losing their homes.  This new policy will help to ensure that those who need help, will get it, without falling further into debt."

As well as covering debts like credit cards and loans, breathing space will cover a wide range of government debts.