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Welsh Liberal Democrats demand ‘debt bonfire’ in response to Senedd report

15 Nov 2021 3 minutes Read
Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Jane Dodds

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their demand for a ‘debt bonfire’ in response to a Senedd report.

They have welcomed the publication of the report by the Welsh Parliament Equality and Social Justice Committee on ‘Debt in Wales and the pandemic’.

The report, released this morning, outlines 14 recommendations for the Welsh Government to research and consider.

Among them is a recommendation to “explore the feasibility of introducing ‘debt bonfires’ in relation to aspects of public sector debt” with a deadline of providing feedback in June 2022.

A ‘debt bonfire’ was a key proposal of the Welsh Liberal Democrats during the 2021 Senedd Election. The policy advocates that the Welsh Government purchases the debt of some of those worst affected in Wales, whose debt has been passed on to debt collectors.

At the Senedd elections, the Welsh Liberal Democrats proposed £200,000 be made available to purchase newly-available bad debt and cancel it.

Proponents of the debt bonfire policy, including the Bevan Foundation argue it can help take some of the most deprived families in Wales out of the vicious circle of debt and increase social mobility.

‘Use our influence’ 

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS, who sits on the Committee said: “I am delighted the Welsh Liberal Democrats have been able to use our influence to secure research into this vital area.

“We know that Wales is disproportionately affected by debt when compared to the UK as a whole and we also know that debt is disproportionately impacting women, young people, renters, people with disabilities and people of colour.

“Due to the impact of the pandemic, it is also clear debt will have increased, and I am seriously concerned that this will force more people into dangerous and desperate situations.

“A debt bonfire is a liberal and radical policy that could liberate people from unfair, illiberal impacts of debt and give people a new lease of life and I look forward to the publication of research on the policy next June.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are committed to helping all households struggling with their finances. We will continue to focus on our objectives to reduce the number of children living in workless households, increase the skills of parents, reduce inequalities in education, health and economic outcomes and action to increase household income.

“We welcome this report and will respond in due course.”

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Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
11 days ago

Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Welsh? Liberal? Democrats? Plural?

Pete Roberts
Pete Roberts
11 days ago
Reply to  Welsh_Siôn

Yep plenty of us out there and as someone who was on the working group that put this policy forward for the manifesto it’s great to see some real investigation into the potential impact of reducing the debt burden on some of the most disadvantaged in our society

Phil
Phil
11 days ago
Reply to  Welsh_Siôn

Just what I was thinking!! There’s only one of her!

ArgolFawr
ArgolFawr
11 days ago

Sounds like a great idea. So, How would I go about getting on this ladder that’ll help me offload my debts? I really shouldn’t have bought that 4×4 BMW.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
11 days ago
Reply to  ArgolFawr

I suspected there would be some sort of reply like this and it is quite understandable. However, there are plenty of people out there that have found themselves in debt through no fault of their own. For example,fuel prices have gone through the roof recently putting many into serious debt – what’s their choice, debt or freeze? Our country is poorer than other parts of the UK with under paid jobs – debt is a way of life for many people and that is just not fair or right.

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