Press release: Money Advice Service commits £35 million to help more people with problem debt

Friday 15 May 2015

  • £4 million increase in funding
  • Over 116,000 more people to receive debt help

Today, the Money Advice Service announces a £4 million year-on-year increase in funding for the delivery of free debt advice to people across England and Wales. Nearly £35 million will be committed in 2015/16.

This funding will provide for 336,000 free debt advice sessions, 52% more than in 2014/15. This means that even more people will have access to the debt advice they need whilst maintaining the quality and high standards of services delivered.

The advice is delivered through five lead partners; Citizens Advice, East Midlands Money Advice, Capitalise, Money Advice West and Greater Merseyside Money Advice.

The increase in free debt advice has also been made possible a result of a more innovative approach to delivering services, focusing on providing phone and web-based support for people whilst maintaining access to face-to-face services. This will ensure that debt advice is available to those who need it the most through the delivery channel that suits them best.

There is clear evidence that seeking debt advice works. Survey results suggest that 88% of people receiving advice funded by the Service acted on the advice received and 76% succeeded in reducing their debt within six months*.

Caroline Siarkiewicz, Head of UK Debt Advice Programme for the Money Advice Service, comments:

“We know how effective free advice can be in helping people escape from the spiral of debt. So we are really pleased to be able to commit an additional £4m to advice in England and Wales, enabling 50% more people to benefit.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the fantastic work, done day in, day out, by our partners, helping us to ensure that high quality and consistent debt advice is available for those who need it most. The funding announced today will contribute to enabling people to overcome debt quickly, helping them to stay out of difficulties in the future by providing ongoing support with money management.

“Only 17% of indebted people seek the advice they need so over the coming years we will continue to work collaboratively with partners, across the debt advice sector to review where services can be expanded to reach even more people.”

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive for Citizen’s Advice said:

“Free, impartial debt advice can be a lifeline for people who feel trapped by their money problems. Last year over 400,000 people turned to Citizens Advice for help with debt, and it is essential that people can get the support they need to address their finances.

“The right debt advice can transform lives, and this investment from the Money Advice Service will mean we can keep helping people across England and Wales to overcome their money woes.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

  • Survey results from 2013 from a sample of MAS funded debt advice projects

About the Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is an independent organisation. Set up by government to help people make the most of their money, it gives free, unbiased money advice across the UK – online, over the phone and face to face. Paid for by a statutory levy on the financial services industry, raised through the Financial Conduct Authority, its statutory objectives are to enhance the understanding & knowledge of members of the public about financial matters (including the UK financial system), and to enhance the ability of the public to manage their own financial affairs.

For more information please contact the Money Advice Service Press Office on 020 7943 0593 pressoffice@moneyadviceservice.org.uk