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Candidates face calls to help people who are in debt

ADVICE ... a charity is urging MP hopefuls to make offering free debt advice to their constituents a priority.
ADVICE ... a charity is urging MP hopefuls to make offering free debt advice to their constituents a priority.

CANDIDATES standing to become the MP in South Shields and Jarrow are facing calls to help people in debt.

Charity National Deadline says MP hopefuls should make promoting free debt advice a priority in the run-up to May’s General Election.

While National Debtline has given more than 300 advice sessions to people in South Shields and Jarrow in the last two years, we know that potentially thousands more are suffering in silence.

Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust

The service, run by the Money Advice Trust, has revealed that it received 343 calls for help from people in South Shields during 2013 and 2014.

During the same time, it was contacted 308 times from people living in Jarrow.

With research showing that 17 per cent of people with unmanageable debt in the UK seek advice, the need in both towns will be high.

Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said: “Whoever is elected as Member of Parliament for South Shields and Jarrow on May 7, needs to put promoting free debt advice in the area near the top of their to-do list after the General Election.

“While National Debtline has given more than 300 advice sessions to people in South Shields and Jarrow in the last two years, we know that potentially thousands more are suffering in silence.

“MPs can play a crucial role in the fight against problem debt – not only by directing people who come to them for help to the free advice they need, but also through raising awareness of services such as National Debtline in the local community.

“Our message to anyone in both towns who is struggling to cope with problem debt is simple – seek free advice from a debt charity such as National Debtline as soon as possible.

“The earlier you seek advice, the quicker and easier the problem will be to solve.”

The candidates for South Shields MP are Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour), Robert Oliver (Conservative), Shirley Ford (Green), Norman Dennis (Ukip), Gita Gordon (Lib Dem), and Lisa Nightingale (Independent).

The candidates in Jarrow are Stephen Hepburn (Labour), Nick Mason (Conservative), Stan Collins (Lib Dem), Steve Harrison (UKip), David Herbert (Green) and Norman Hall (TUSC).

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVicki