General Election 2024: Putting debt on the agenda

Ten million people in the UK are heavily in debt, and 54 countries around the world are in debt crisis. When an election was called just six weeks ago in the UK, we knew we needed to force debt onto the agenda.

Our activists launched into action. The amount that was achieved during this period is amazing – we genuinely put debt on the agenda. There’s still a lot of work to do, but here’s some of the highlights from this period:

  1. Visiting Kier, Ed and Rishi…

Thousands of people, who know what it’s like to experience the stress of being in debt, have come together to build a manifesto for what they want to see changed. Election or not, it’s time politicians heard about the devastating effect debt is having in our communities and on people’s lives up and down the UK. Here is Joe, our Household Debt Campaigner with Fin our brilliant colleague, delivering the People’s Manifesto on Debt to all party headquarters…

Taking the Together Against Debt People’s Manifesto straight to the belly of the beasts

  • Fair debt solutions so everyone can have a fresh start.
  • To be treated with dignity, and protected from exploitation and harassment by creditors, debt collectors and bailiffs.
  • An end to people being pushed into debt just to pay for the food, energy and housing they need.

2. Fink again, Larry

Countries, such as Ghana, are in debt crisis, where huge debt repayments are getting in the way of the government being able to afford essentials like healthcare and education. The country urgently needs a debt write-off, but greedy lenders are refusing to play ball. These lenders are hoping to make huge profits on loans while the people of Ghana suffer.  

Here we are on Tuesday 4th June taking to the streets of London as part of an action targeting one of Ghana’s biggest private lenders, BlackRock. (Photos by Jess Herd)

We even ended up being covered in The Times!

3. Getting our messages in the media

End the household debt crisis
The UK’s cost of living crisis has pushed more and more of us into debt. Now more than ever we need a strong plan and commitment from our leaders to take action. Members of the Together Against Debt Manchester group appeared in Channel 4 News short documentary (6 mins) during the election period to really raise the alarm.

Selection of photos which feature TAD members being interviewed by the Channel 4 documentary team

Getting a new debt justice law for the global south
Our exclusive in the Guardian revealed that debt payments by countries most vulnerable to climate crisis have soared to the highest point in more than 30 years. In addition, with 90% of debt contracts based in UK law, now more than ever did we need to put debt on the agenda of all party leaders.

The Debt Justice Election Squad wrote to their local newspapers. To the right is one of the many letters that made publication, urging our MP candidates to push for a new law after the elections.

4. Our strength lies in YOU

Throughout this whole period, Debt Justice campaigners have worked non-stop to make sure that both people in debt in the UK and communities in the global south are not ignored during this election and that urgent action is needed to tackle unjust debt. 

5000 people signed the petition to party leaders asking for a new law which we handed in (below), whilst nearly 1000 people wrote to their MP candidates asking to tackle the UK household debt crisis.

Hundreds came to the webinar on Debt, Colonialism and Power – where we heard from our allies in Ghana – you can watch it here:

The last highlight has to be the amazing Election Rally the Together Against Debt members held on Wednesday 26th June.

From inspiring stories, to spoken word poems, this event showed what people can really achieve when we collectively build power, and why we will not stop fighting for debt justice.

Regardless of who wins the election, those struggling with debt are not alone. Whether in the UK or on the international stage, these last six weeks have shown that when we come together, amazing things happen.

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