We ask Ofgem to understand that evidence of financial difficulties is a personal circumstance that can cause vulnerability. The distress problem debt creates is linked to poor mental health and can have negative consequences for family life and employment.
- 74% of StepChange Debt Charity clients polled said debt had affected their sleep patterns
- 57% of indebted parents said debt put their current or most recent relationship under strain
- 43% said debt worries left them unable to concentrate at work
- 6% said it caused changes to work attendance like arriving late or taking more time off
If not addressed, financial problems can have long term debt consequences.
A summary of our response:
- We support the Ofgem approach to enhancing eligibility by changing the definition of vulnerability to one based on personal characteristics and circumstances
- We stress that problem debt is a personal circumstance that can cause vulnerability
- We welcome the acknowledgement that families with children under five are likely to have additional vulnerability