Debt advisers organised in the Manchester Money Advice Group have drawn up a statement in support of our call for a household debt Jubilee. In a letter to The Guardian, twelve debt advisers have expressed their backing and we are now seeking more signatures to the statement (in full below).
We will also be holding a workshop at our forthcoming conference on 25th April to discuss how advisers can play a role in this campaign. To facilitate this we are offering free places to debt advisers wishing to attend the conference (subject to availability).
If you would like to add your name to the statement, and/or wish to take up a free place at the conference please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Full text of the statement
Jubilee Debt Campaign and the Centre for Responsible Credit have called for the government, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority to address the “severe and persistent” debt burden on low-income households (Report, 5 March).
As debt advisers, we are acutely aware of the recent increase in debt problems, and the damage that this is causing. Our workloads are becoming increasingly dominated by clients for whom debt is a virtually permanent problem. It permeates all aspects of their lives and causes widespread harm not only to themselves, but also to their families and communities.
The burden of debt affects relationships, health, child development and the wider economy. It brings a level of insecurity that exacerbates the current housing crisis and fuels poverty and inequality. It is crucial that the issue is addressed.
The traditional debt advice model, largely based on regaining financial balance following a temporary difficulty, cannot address this “permanent” debt burden on its own. At present, for many low-income households in debt, there is a lack of suitable options. There is no light at the end of the tunnel and it is difficult to see how they can ever achieve a fresh start.
That is why we, as debt advisers organised within the Manchester Money Advice Group, welcome the call for a household debt jubilee. We believe it represents recognition of the need to end “unjust debt” and the irresponsible lending practices that give rise to it.
Signatories (in personal capacity):
Karen Bridson, David Burdis, Mike Coltman, Sean Finnegan, Richard Holland, Tim Nelson, George Oldbury, Steve Quinn, Amy Taylor, Ben Thomas, Anne Whittle, Elaine Wilkinson