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Our response to Labour manifesto

16 May 2017

In response to the publication of the Labour Party manifesto and its proposal to “introduce a version of Scotland’s Debt Arrangement Scheme1 to give breathing space to households struggling with high debts”, our Chief Executive Mike O’Connor, said:

“We welcome Labour’s inclusion of breathing space proposals to help people manage debt problems. We call on all parties to follow suit, because tackling debt should be a cross-party issue.

“Household debt is at record levels and rising quickly, there 8.8m people in the UK who are using credit to cover everyday living expenses and demand for debt advice services is at record levels. We need concerted action by the next government to tackle problem debt.

“Problem debt is rarely just a financial issue, it impacts on mental and physical health, it impacts on productivity and employment and it impacts on the lives of children in affected households. Dealing with problem debt is a not just an economic policy, it is a health care policy, an education policy and social welfare policy.

“We need policies like breathing space to help people to manage periods of financial difficulty. We need continuing efforts to crack down on harmful high-cost credit. And we need to help families build up savings to help insulate them from problem debt. These policies could limit the most harmful effects of debt and significantly reduce £8.3bn that it costs the UK.”

The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is a statutory debt management tool overseen by the Scottish Government.

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“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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