Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane TD has today published a document outlining the real life experiences of people affected by household debt.
The document, ‘Exposing the Debt Crisis: In Their Own Words’, contains the stories submitted by members of the public who participated in an online survey conducted by Teachta Kerrane about the impact of household debt.
Speaking today as she launched the document, Teachta Kerrane said:
“Three weeks ago I launched an online survey to learn the extent to which households have been affected by debt, since Covid-19 hit.
“Almost 500 people responded with almost equal representation from rural and urban Ireland.
“I was deeply moved by the results, which paint a picture of many workers and families in dire financial situations.
“Of the 500 respondents, over 300 people also shared their personal story of how household debt was impacting on their day-to-day life. These comments showed something much more grave.
“People are stressed, worried and in some cases, feeling suicidal. Mounting debt has a clear impact on peoples’ mental health.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane TD and spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD launch the document at Leinster House
“While many of these stories are distressing to read, I believe that it is important that they are heard and that this issue does not continue to be ignored. The Government must act urgently to ensure appropriate financial supports are put in place to resolve debts and support people into the future.
“The issue of household debt cannot continue to be ignored. The time for decisive and urgent action is now.
“Clearly, the supports needed to tackle household debt go far beyond financial supports alone and must include strategies for mental health.
“We are only days away from Budget 2021 and I want the government to hear this message very clearly- it is time to support workers and families under pressure with debt. Those most impacted by Covid-19 cannot wait.”
If you are worried about household debt, please know you are not alone. You can contact the Samaritans on freephone 116 123 or Pieta House on 1800 247247.
You can seek financial advice and support confidentially from MABS (Money Advice & Budgeting Service) through their Helpline on 0761072000