Constituents contact me for help with a wide range of problems. Often they have exhausted all other options. Financial difficulties can be the hardest to help with.
Often people have been unable to build up savings and a sudden change of circumstances such a job loss or ill health means that families find themselves in financial difficulty quite quickly with spiralling debt. In desperation people take out short-term loans charging huge interest – which just add to their mountain of debt.
Sometimes they get to a situation where they cannot afford to buy food and have to rely on food banks.
It’s so important for people to seek expert advice, and there is practical help available from the Council’s team of debt advisors and from Stockport Homes. There is also the StepChange debt charity which offers free online advice and support to people worried about debt.
We need to give families a breathing space to get their finances back into shape and be able to eat and pay their bills whilst working out arrangements with creditors to pay back their debt.
I am supporting the calls by charities for the introduction of a Breathing Space scheme that would give people a period of protection from mounting charges and enforcement action while they seek expert advice to tackle their debts.
Families who are in debt and are trying to sort it out shouldn’t be pushed into further debt and crisis because of mounting debt charges and enforcement action.
A Breathing Space Scheme would help stop this happening.