Reset The Debt was a campaign run by The Joint Public Issues Team in 2020-2022, alongside a coalition of partners. The campaign responded to the significant challenge of covid-related debt facing low-income households during and after the pandemic.
An estimated eleven million people had to borrow to make ends meet during the pandemic, 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 urgent problem demanded a solution from Government. It is not right that those with the fewest resources should risked bearing the heaviest burden of the lockdown, potentially for years to come. Schemes like the evictions ban and the breathing space programme proposed during the pandemic only deferred the tsunami of debt. The campaign called for something more extraordinary and comprehensive to match the scale of the issue.
Reset The Debt in numbers
1,071 emails sent to MPs about #ResetTheDebt
440 MPs contacted by constituents
11 MPs spoke at the debate on debt
24 hours of prayer and action for #ResetTheDebt in March
14 organisations in the coalition
1 call for action: #ResetTheDebt
What did we call for?
The campaign proposed that the chancellor created a Jubilee Fund, which 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.