Last year (see link below) a young man who hadn't been able to pay his fines recieved a visit from bailiffs. The £65 fine had mushroomed into a £1000 debt. The bailliffs who went to his house manhandled him and forced him into paying the debt with his belongings. This was a humiliating experience for the young man who ended up taking his life when those bailiffs decided to visit his house the second time.
This story is one amongst many about the UK's shocking bailiffs industry. There's another story (whose link people can google) where bailiffs forced themselves into a disabled woman's house, beat her partners and forced the disabled woman aside and took every penny they found in the house and in her wallet in order to re-pay the debt they came to collect.
With growing number of people renting or on Universal Credit or on Zero-Hours-Contrat or all of the above more and more people are encountering bailiffs. If nothing is done then the tragic consequences of this out of controlled thuggish industry will just go from bad to worrse.
It is time I beileve a future Labour government commit itself to reforming the UK's currently unregulated bailiff industry so the misery these people cause ends. This is why I propose the following:
1) That Labour creates a commission to investigate how the UK's bailiff industry can be more effectively regulated & Ombudsman can more effectively protect the public from rogue bailiffs.
2) Investigate whether Universal Credit & Zero-Hours-Contracts have lead to an increase in both debt & increase in bailiffs collections since 2010 as well as debt laws in general should be reformed.
3) Require that all debts that are less £2K & haven't been collected within 5 years of that debt being created be automatically forgiven/absolved for the debtor (especially if the creditor has refused multiple attempts by the debtor to come to 'fair terms' over their debt?).
4) Create a commission headed by professor Michael Hudson to investigate the feasibility of instigating a 'debt jubilee' for all debts owed to corporations & local governments by UK citizens who are of a low-income group or are unemployed.
5) Whether the state, local governments & social enterprises should assist the creation & maintainance of local Credit Unions.