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AdviceUK welcomes changes by MaPS to debt advice grants

BY David Hawkes | April 18, 2023

AdviceUK welcomes the announcement by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) that it is making changes to its debt advice grants because more time is needed by community-based advice services to deal with complex cases and with more clients in vulnerable circumstances.

AdviceUK realises that the number of clients seen by advisers will vary, but that overall the changes will mean a 29% reduction in the targets each individual adviser is expected to meet, enabling them to make more of a difference to the lives of the people they support.

AdviceUK members have been reporting the increasing complexity and severity of debt cases, due in part to the cost of living crisis but also because more people who are vulnerable are seeking advice. This has had a direct impact on the well-being of advisers, who have been struggling to manage large and increasingly complex caseloads. About 40% of AdviceUK clients have deficit budgets, in which their income is insufficient to meet their essential living expenses. This makes it increasingly difficult for advisers to offer solutions to deal with crisis debt.

AdviceUK CEO Liz Bayram said: –
“This announcement by MaPS is welcome news and something for which AdviceUK has been calling for some time. However, we remain concerned that at a time when the demand for debt advice is increasing MaPS funding for regional debt advice is being cut in real terms and adviser redundancies are likely. AdviceUK believes that further changes are needed to the way in which debt advice is funded to ensure that it delivers what matters to the people who need it. More fundamentally, the cost of living crisis has made it clearer than ever that the underlying causes of the demand for debt advice need to be addressed.”

 

Image credit: Towfiqu Barbhuiya

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