Sunday, 13 February 2011

Reprieve for debt advice

The government announced on Saturday (12 February) that it has found £27 million to continue funding face-to-face debt advice in Citizens Advice Bureaux and other charitable advice centres. The cash will pay for another year of the services, which were under threat of closure due to the end of the Financial Inclusion Fund, which had been confirmed three weeks ago.

Announcing the new funding, the Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable said: 'It's vitally important that everyone has access to free debt advice, and I am pleased to announce that the Department for Business will provide the £27 million necessary to maintain the programme of face-to-face debt advice.'

Vince Cable deserves praise for his role in securing this reprieve for debt advice. He is a strong supporter of Citizens Advice Bureaux and was named Citizens Advice Parliamentarian of the Year in 2008. It would have been an embarrassment for him if 500 debt advisers plus support staff funded by his department had been made redundant on his watch.

LAG welcomes this news, but points out that next year legal aid funding for debt advice in many cases will end. This has bought the coalition some respite, but it really needs to consider an integrated strategy for debt advice across government. We would also ask is it not time that the credit industry, especially banks, started paying for debt advice?

2 comments:

jean said...

I have stated for a couple of years that banks and other credit/finance providers should pay towards debt advice projects. Yes we know that they are owed money but when clt's seek debt advice the majority wish to seek a solution in which they do pay their creditors so the creditors do get some money back albeit in smaller instalments.

Debt Advice said...

An effective debt counselling can be the first step back in control of your finances. It can also help people use their money in the future, and to avoid unsustainable debt.