View more on these topics

45m government funds for free debt advice

As part of the governments strategy to tackle over-indebtedness, consumer minister Gerry Sutcliffe today opened new premises for National Debtline, and called on organisations to bid for a share of 45m to fund free debt advice.

National Debtline, which helps 60,000 people a year find a way out of debt, is moving to a bigger premises after taking on 19 new staff. This brings the total number of full time telephone debt advisers to 64, all based at the new centre.

Sutcliffe says: “As part of the Government’s commitment to this work, we have greatly increased our funding for National Debtline to 1.5m this year, 1.8m in 2006/7 and 2m in 2007/8. The finance community is contributing a similar amount over the same period.

“As well as helping to fund new premises, this money has enabled National Debtline to recruit and train more advisors, and in turn help more people find a way out of debt.”

He also announced that today the government is asking charities and other non-profit organisations to bid for a share of 45m to fund a huge expansion of free, face-to-face debt advice in England and Wales.

The money, made available as part of the Treasury’s Financial Inclusion Fund, will help recruit and train hundreds of new debt advisers to help people find ways of getting their debts back under control.

The money will be particularly targeted at areas and social groups in England and Wales with high levels of financial exclusion, with priority given to organisations with experience of providing debt advice services.

Sutcliffe says: “While many people looking for a way out of debt can be helped over the phone, others find it crucial to have face-to-face advice, which is why the government is funding both types of support.

“Excessive debt can cause misery to families, which is why the government is committed to tackling over-indebtedness. The 45m fund will make a huge difference to those who are most in need of support.”

The move has been well received by lenders. Matt Grayson, a spokesperson for BM Solutions, says: “National Debtline is a great charity, and government support in this particular area is useful in finding solutions to deal with the impact of debt on consumers.

“More money invested in improving financial literacy to prevent people getting into debt in the first place would be also be welcomed. But there are those who get into difficulties through no fault of their own, therefore helplines are always going to be welcomed as having an important role to play.”

Recommended

Bank of Ireland completes sale

Bank of Ireland announced this morning that it has completed the sale of its Bristol & West branch network and associated deposit book to Britannia Building Society for a price of £150m.It made the announcement to the Stock Exchange following UK High Court approval. Details of the sale were previously announced on May 24 2005. […]

Three year sentence for money laundering

Veysi Ertekin was today sentenced to three years imprisonment at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court for money laundering the proceeds of drug dealing.Officers from HM Revenue & Customs observed two men, Mohsen Sadeghi-Kivi and Mansour Mohammadi collecting bags from other individuals in suspicious circumstances. Two of these hand-overs were between Mohammadi and Veysi Ertekin. Sadeghi-KiviI and […]

Well done C&G for two-week remortgage completion

From Andrew Killingback I recently read of a broker who was impressed with a one-month remortgage completion in the pages of Mortgage Strategy. This is indeed pretty good going but, without wishing to appear guilty of oneupmanship, I would like to share this story with you in praise of our local Cheltenham & Gloucester branch […]

Late payers named and shamed

The internet is being hailed as the latest weapon against late payers trying to keep creditors from their door. Trials with sample companies who have tried everything, including the courts, have shown “promising” results, with many offenders finally handing over cheques for old invoices. The new approach involves a 21 day stay of execution, during […]

Pensions - thumbnail

Auto-enrolment — don’t leave it too late…

With auto-enrolment (AE) well under way for the UK’s largest businesses, over the next three years an additional 800,000 smaller employers (with less than 60 employees) will start their journey to comply with the legislation. AE mandates all eligible employees and their respective employers to make regular pension contributions into a qualifying pension scheme. To learn more about the legislation read our brief Jelf AEase — simple steps to AE compliance guide.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up