The Welsh actor Michael Sheen has helped to launch a new campaign against high-cost credit and the companies that offer money to customers at very high levels of interest.
Mr Sheen, who starred in the movies Frost/Nixon and The Damned United, has said he plans to scale back his acting work in order to focus on the campaign and supporting the newly-created End High Cost Credit Alliance.
That alliance was launched this week in Glasgow and has been established to bring together the work of charities, politicians, businesses and other interested parties, who all want to see more affordable forms of credit made available to consumers throughout the UK.
Mr Sheen has raised concerns about the functioning of the government’s Universal Credit benefit system and their impact on the finances of individuals and families nationwide.
He has also emphasised the point that people often get into debt for reasons beyond their control, such as if they need to borrow amounts of money to travel to a job interview or to cover the costs of essential purchases for their children.
It’s understood that the actor, who was born and brought up in South Wales, is investing a considerable amount of his own money in support of the End High Cost Credit Alliance and its work.
Explaining the reasons why he has become involved with the campaign to restrict high cost lending and make affordable credit more widely accessible, Mr Sheen said he has seen for himself the damage that debt problems can cause.
“It’s a really hard subject to talk about but I’ve had friends breaking down in tears talking about how it is affecting their relationship, their self-esteem, their children’s lives. It touches buttons about your own sense of dignity and pride.”
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