Letter: Ten thousand families in Rochdale need a debt breathing space

Date published: 28 November 2016

Dear Editor,

Children living in families struggling with problem debt are five times more likely to be unhappy than children in families without debt troubles.

There are 10,000 such children in our town.

Those families need breathing space to repay their debts, so children don’t pay the price with their mental health.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said: “Again and again we have raised the urgent problem of families who are trapped by debt, and whose children often pay the price with their mental and physical health.

“With unfair and unsustainable repayment plans, hidden charges, soaring interest, visits from intimidating bailiffs and the fear of eviction, the odds are stacked against parents who are desperate to find a way out of their debt. Meanwhile mums and dads are being forced to make impossible decisions between feeding and clothing their children, and paying the bills.

“It is now absolutely clear that this problem is not going away unless the Government takes action to give families the breathing space they need to get their finances back on track.

“Acting now could have a hugely beneficial impact, not just on family finances in the short term but on the futures of some of the country’s most vulnerable children.”

Concerned readers of Rochdale Online can join The Children's Society in calling for a 'breathing space' scheme to help families in debt. This would stop debts from increasing for a period of up to 12 months and allow families to tackle their debts in a manageable way, without visits from intimidating bailiffs.

This can be done at a new online petition at:

Thank you.


Andrew Wastling

The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.

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