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Breathing space scheme ‘must include public sector creditors’

​The government has today (24 October 2017) announced a call for evidence on a scheme to help people struggling with serious debt by offering ‘breathing space’ from their bills. 

Proposals would provide individuals with up to six weeks free from further interest, charges and enforcement action on their debts if they seek debt advice.

Jane Tully, director of external affairs at the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said:

“This is good news for people in debt – and we look forward to working with the Treasury on the detail of how the new breathing space scheme will operate.

“Many banks and credit card companies already offer ‘breathing space’ by freezing interest and charges as a matter of good practice, but a statutory scheme will extend this significantly. If implemented properly, this could be a powerful incentive for people to seek debt advice.

“It is crucial, however, that the government ensures that its breathing space scheme applies to public sector creditors, such as local authorities and HMRC, as well as private sector lenders. Making sure that all creditors play by the same rules is in the best interests of people in debt, who can then focus on taking the steps they need to tackle their debt problem.”
 
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