Yesterday I delivered my Private Members’ Bill to Parliament for its First Reading. I am delighted to have given this opportunity so early in my parliamentary term, which will offer a genuine opportunity to directly bring in necessary legislation that will help families and children. My Bill is titled the:
Families with Children and Young People in Debt (Respite) Bill
A Bill to establish a duty on lenders and creditors to provide periods of financial respite for families with children and young people in debt in certain circumstances; to establish a duty on lenders, creditors and public authorities to provide access to related advice, guidance and support in those circumstances; and for connected purposes.
Since the ballot I have reflected long and hard to decide on which issue I wanted to make an impact on. That in the end I decided to go with helping disadvantaged families and children, reflects my one of my long-term campaigns and interests.
I will be working closely with the Children’s Society, with whom I have worked closely with during my twelve months in Parliament around care leavers and supported accommodation for 16-17 year olds. My proposed bill would seek to increase protection for children suffering from stress, anxiety and depression as the result of household debt in the family. A bill focused on this issue could also provide an opportunity to protect families with children from hard enforcement measures to collect debts.
The Families with Children and Young People in Debt (Respite) Bill’s Second Reading is due to be held on Friday 28 October 2016. I look forward to working closely with other stakeholders on formulating the full content of the Bill and helping gather support to drive this much-needed Bill through Parliament.