Kate Langston, Senior External Affairs Officer, Money and Mental Health

MPs back our call to Stop the #DebtThreats

15 June 2020

You may have spotted that our Stop the #DebtThreats campaign made a few headlines this month. This not only helped us raise further public awareness of the devastating impact that intimidating debt letters can have on people’s mental health, but also saw two key financial services trade bodies – UK Finance and the Credit Services Association – publicly voice their support for our campaign. They join more than 30 charities and organisations backing the campaign, and the more than 12,000 people who’ve signed our petition – adding to the mounting pressure on government to act. 

However, we know that to convince ministers and policy makers to make the changes to these letters that we think are needed, it’s also vital that we can show wider political support for our proposals. That’s why we’re delighted that today a group of cross-party MPs and peers have written a joint letter to the Treasury backing our campaign.

Why political collaboration matters

At Money and Mental Health, we’ve long recognised the importance of working with cross-party MPs to help us achieve our aims. Our Recovery Space campaign is a key example of this. It was in response to an amendment tabled by our Advisory Board members Luciana Berger, Sir Norman Lamb and Johnny Mercer MP, that we secured a commitment from the government to extend it’s Breathing Space debt respite scheme to people in mental health crisis. It was also thanks to Sir Norman that we were able to get a Westminster Hall debate for our #DebtThreats campaign last year, which was crucial in getting this issue on the government’s agenda.

Today's joint letter

With millions more people at risk of falling into debt as a result of the coronavirus crisis, it’s more urgent than ever that the government addresses the intimidating and confusing letters that many will be receiving from lenders, chasing them for payments. And to show the government just how much support there is for this change, today seven MPs and Peers representing each of the major parties have added their weight with a joint letter to the Treasury.

This group includes our Advisory Board members, the Labour MP Jeff Smith and SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron, as well as the former Secretary of State and Treasury Select Committee chair Baroness Morgan, the Lib Dem Mental Health spokesperson Munira Wilson, the Green MP Caroline Lucas, the Labour MP Stella Creasy and the Conservative MP Sir Charles Walker. 

We are incredibly grateful for this show of support, and will be working hard to keep the momentum up over the coming weeks, so that we put an end to Debt Threats letters.