24 Oct 2017

Responding to the government’s announcement to consult on a 'breathing space' for people in problem debt, Peter Grigg, Director of External Affairs at The Children’s Society, said:

“Since 2014 The Children’s Society have been calling for the Government to introduce a Breathing Space scheme to build a better safety net for the 2.4 million children in families in problem debt. Having promised to introduce this in the Conservative manifesto, we are delighted that the government has now taken this crucial step towards getting the scheme introduced.

“Debt blights the lives of millions of children in the UK. When pressure from creditors leaves families fearing a knock at the door, there must be more protection and help for families who fall into a spiral of overdue bills and mounting charges.

“A breathing space would offer families a pause from crippling fees and being pursued by creditors, while they get their finances in order. Crucially the Government are also consulting on the introduction of a statutory debt management plan, which would ensure that families get the support they need to sustainably and affordably repay their debts.

“Out of control debt takes a terrible emotional toll on parents and children alike. With hundreds of thousands of families already spending more on overdue payments than they are on food, a breathing space and a statutory debt management plan are needed now more than ever. We now ask the government to commit to delivering the scheme by 2019 at the latest.”

Media contact:
The Children’s Society media team on media@childrenssociety.org.uk or 0207 841 4422 (office hours) mobile: 078107 96508 (24 hours).

Notes to editors
• The Children’s Society is a national charity that runs local services, helping children and young people when they are at their most vulnerable, and have nowhere left to turn. We also campaign for changes to laws affecting children and young people, to stop the mistakes of the past being repeated in the future. Our supporters around the country fund our services and join our campaigns to show children and young people they are on their side.