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StepChange Debt Charity response to the Queen’s Speech

21 June, 2017

In response to the Queen’s Speech, Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of StepChange Debt Charity, said:

“Household debt is high by historical standards and consumer borrowing continues to head towards levels not seen since the economic crisis. Millions of households are resorting to credit as the only way to keep up with essential household bills. And millions more face the risk of falling into serious financial hardship in the future. Any further squeeze on household finances could have serious consequences. Dealing with problem debt needs to become a priority for the new Government."

“There is cross-party support for the introduction of a ‘Breathing Space’ scheme that would give individuals and families better protections and a safer way to get back onto a firmer financial footing. While we are disappointed that these proposals were not referenced in the Queen’s Speech, we remain hopeful that such a scheme will be implemented as soon as possible to help prevent those who need it the most from falling further into a downward spiral of increasing debt. We will continue to work with the Government to make the scheme a reality.”

Notes to Editors

StepChange Debt Charity has campaigned for a ‘Breathing Space’ scheme that would provide two key protections:

  • A period of protection against further interest, charges, collection and enforcement action for up to one year while people benefit from debt advice so they can stabilise their financial situation and start to resolve their debts
  • Continuing protection from further interest, charges, collection and enforcement action where people are repaying their debts through a debt management plan

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