A government-commissioned report last week recommended the creation of a national money advisory service. Yvette Cooper, chief secretary to the Treasury, revealed that around £12m will be spent on launching the scheme, which is designed to help people make better decisions about their finances.
So, this week Mortgage Strategy asks…
Phil Forshaw, 37, business owner
No. I run a consultancy business and as a financial controller I understand my finances perfectly. But I don’t think there’s a problem with public money being spent on the scheme – this kind of service is needed by the millions of Britons in debt.
Louise Kleboe, 34, manager
No. I’m not in debt so I don’t have a pressing need to use this sort of service. I know how to handle my financial affairs. I think this kind of service is most valuable if the government intends to help borrowers clear their debts. That said, if it’s accessible, confidential and managed well, debt-laden consumers no doubt will be better off for it. Liam Hughes, 32, web designerI don’t need to use this service but I know plenty of people who do. Everybody seems to be able to borrow beyond their limits. At one stage my ex-girlfriend had about £12,000 worth of debt on a range of store cards for which she was paying around 30% interest. But the government will have to ensure that the public money spent on the service is used wisely.
Johanne Sondergaard, 23, administrator
No. It’s clearly a worthwhile way of spending taxpayers’ money but I’d never let myself get into financial trouble. And it remains to be seen how many indebted consumers will use it or whether they’ll look to family or friends instead.
Malcolm Suter, 37, special effects technician
I won’t use this service and there may be better ways of spending public money. The most vulnerable consumers are not smart or interested enough to avoid getting into horrendous situations where their debt is unmanageable. Perhaps this is due to them being bombarded with advertisements by firms willing to lend them money. Maybe the government should act to stop them.
Sara Angelucci, 27, student
I’ve used debt advice services before and they have helped me. I probably won’t need this service but it’s a good way of spending public money. It’s good to know you’re getting something back from the taxes you pay.