Aloan again – London’s debt problem

09 March 2015

Around half a million Londoners are currently in financial difficulty and the estimated cost of London’s problem debt could be as much as £1.4 billion.[2]

The kind of debt people are in has changed - from consumer credit card debt to debt related to everyday essentials, like utilities and Council Tax.

120,000 people across London have been sent a court summons for non-payment of Council Tax.[3]

To launch the report, ‘Final Demand: Personal Problem Debt in London’, Jenny Jones AM, Chair of the Economy Committee visited Bermondsey Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). Jenny Jones AM, Chair of the Economy Committee, said: “Debt causes sleepless nights for many and the numbers of people in financial difficulty in London are worrying. Problem debt not only affects mental and physical health, it can also put real strain on families and relationships. The Mayor should re-prioritise tackling debt in the capital and has a clear opportunity to support Londoners to access debt advice and affordable credit.” The report makes a number of recommendations, including:

The Mayor should play an active role in monitoring and tackling problem debt in the capital. He should support a ‘Money Advice Week’ to promote debt advice and affordable credit to Londoners.

The Mayor should promote debt education amongst young people, including lessons on loan sharks.

London boroughs and London Councils should implement genuinely fair approaches to debt recovery.

Notes for Editors:

Read ‘Final Demand’ (attached below).

StepChange submission to the investigation.

Child Poverty Action Group, London’s poorest and councils hit hard by Council Tax changes, 2014.

Jenny Jones AM, Chair of the Economy Committee is available for interview. See contact details below.

As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Lisa Lam on 020 7983 4067. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.