Money and Mental Health response to pre-Budget announcement on interest-free loans

29 October 2018


Commenting on announcements expected in today’s budget, including a new zero interest loans scheme, an extension to the Breathing Space debt respite scheme and additional funding for Universal Credit, Helen Undy, director of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, said:


The mental health story in the budget today is not just about spending on NHS services. People with mental health problems are three times as likely to be in problem debt; the new zero-interest loans will make a big difference in helping people to find emergency cash while avoiding that spiral into even greater debt and deteriorating mental health

The extension of the ‘breathing space’ period for debt is a welcome step which will help people who are struggling to manage their finances because of mental health problems.

However we also need action to tackle the issues that drive people into problem debt in the first place, such as the problems around roll-out of Universal Credit. Putting more funding into the benefits system will help, but only if it is coupled with reforms to ensure that this money reaches those who need it most.”




To arrange an interview with Helen Undy, please contact Brian Semple (Head of External Affairs at the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute) on [email protected] or 0207 848 1448.

Notes to Editors

  • The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute was set up by Martin Lewis in spring 2016, registered charity number 1166493.
  • It conducts research and develops policies for essential services firms, regulators, the health service and government to help people with mental health problems protect themselves from financial difficulties and get out of debt.
  • Martin Lewis OBE, Money Saving Expert, is an award-winning campaigning broadcaster, newspaper columnist and author. He founded in 2003 for £100 and remains its full-time Editor-in- Chief. It is now the UK’s biggest money site, with more than 14 million monthly users. Martin has his own prime-time ITV programme – The Martin Lewis Money Show – and is resident expert on This Morning, Good Morning Britain and BBC Radio 5 Live’s Consumer Panel, among others.
  • Helen Undy is a passionate mental health campaigner and became the Institute’s Director in 2018, having previously led the Institute’s impact and communications work.