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WHY RESET THE DEBT?

An estimated six million people in the UK have fallen behind on one or more household bill as a result of Covid-19, with the biggest increases in debt amongst the poorest households.

People who were previously able to keep their head above water are now in severe difficulty. Others, who had been just staying afloat, now face being overwhelmed by circumstances entirely beyond their control.

This is an urgent problem that demands a solution. It is not right that those with the fewest resources should bear the heaviest burden of the lockdown, potentially for years to come.

Now is the time for a solution to be found.

We believe people swept into debt by Covid-19 now need a Jubilee. It’s time to #ResetTheDebt.

TAKE ACTION

We’re proposing that the Chancellor creates a Jubilee Fund. This would provide grants to pay off and cancel unavoidable debt accrued by households during the lockdown period, giving them a more stable platform from which to face the future.

Could you join us?

Write to your MP, calling on them to ask the Chancellor what the Government’s plans are to address the crisis.

“I don’t answer the door, or answer the phone if I don’t know who it is.  I know I can’t pay the rent, I am scared it might be him asking for it. What can I say? I have no money, I can’t earn money now and I can’t get benefits.

If the debt was taken away, I would cry. I wouldn’t be scared or worried all the time. I would be able to study and hopefully get a career job, and not always be counting and thinking about money.”

Leanne

19 per cent – almost one in five – of households borrowed to buy food or other essentials in July.

Who We Are

Reset The Debt is a campaign launched by the Baptist Union, the Church of Scotland, Church Action on Poverty, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church.

The campaign grew out of our listening and learning to communities during the lockdown of 2020, as part of our Gleanings project. We heard that debt was becoming an increasing problem for households and communities across the UK.

We are supported by a number of other organisations, who’ve added their voices to call for change.

“I can’t pay all the bills each month, so they are carried over to the next month. Every day, I get letters asking for repayment and I get more stressed. If the debt was taken away, it would make a huge difference. I wouldn’t get depressed. I would stop feeling mentally unsettled.”

Leonie

Jubilee is an ancient idea, found in the Bible.

In the Old Testament, Jubilee meant a resetting of debts and obligations, allowing relationships to be rebuilt, communities to be re-balanced, and people’s dignity to be restored.

“I tried to find some work as a delivery driver, but it was only paying for food and essentials as I was trying to pay back my debts. I have borrowed money from friends to try and have enough to live on. Eventually I was sleeping on the street because I couldn’t pay the rent. It was incredibly stressful and a never-ending cycle of debt.

If the debt was taken away, it would be a 180-degree transformation. I would be able to live and not just exist. I could start a family. I could look forward and not be stuck in the past and in fear”.

Andrzej

Questions?

We’ve answered some of the Frequently Asked Questions about Covid related household debt, and why we’re calling for a Jubilee. Discover more, and add your own questions.