Debt advice services have never been more vital, and across the sector we’re hearing of unprecedented demand. Client numbers are soaring and cases are becoming increasingly complex and time-consuming.
Yet we’re also seeing funding cuts and adviser jobs at risk:
- Money & Pensions Service (MaPS) funding for community-based services has been cut by over 20% in real terms compared to before the pandemic.
- Unite members at StepChange are facing an estimated 200 job losses, and Christians Against Poverty recently announced likely redundancies.
We need more debt advisers, and that means more funding. It’s time to step up our campaign.
What is Unite calling for?
MaPS funds debt advice with an annual levy on businesses. But this is only paid by consumer credit and mortgage lenders. Other businesses which also create or profit from household debt, such as energy, water and telecoms firms do not have to pay it.
Many of these firms are making huge profits – in February alone:
- British Gas parent company Centrica announced its annual profits had trebled to £3.3bn
- Energy company EDF announced annual profits of £1.1bn
- The big 4 UK banks announced almost £20bn profits in a 9-month period
We are calling on government to increase and expand the debt advice levy so all businesses which profit from household debt pay towards fixing the debt problems they helped to create. This extra funding is vital if we are going to cope with extra demand and ensure debt advisers have decent pay, manageable workloads and job security.
Unite is writing to HM Treasury this week to set out our demands, but we need to take more action to ensure our voice are heard.
Come to our London day of action – Monday 13th March
Join Unite activists demonstrating on Monday 13th March at the three government departments which are responsible for administering debt advice funding.
- 11.00 – 11.45 – Demo at Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA (nearest tube St James Park)
- 11.45 – 12.30 – Demo at HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, SW1A 2HQ (nearest tube Westminster)
- 13.15 – 14.00 – Demo at Money & Pensions Service (MaPS), 120 Holborn, EC1N 2TD (nearest tube Chancery Lane)
This is the first time these organisations have seen a demo about this issue, so we need as many people there as possible to ensure they can’t ignore us.
Let us know if you’re coming here or at our Facebook event page here
Join our social media storm – Monday 13th March
Supporters around the country can join in online by sending messages to the three government agencies between 11.00 and 14.00 on March 13th.
There’s full instructions and a downloadable poster here
Let us know if you’re taking part here
Please share this post with your colleagues to spread the word
Together we can make a change which will benefit hundreds of debt advisers – and hundreds of thousands of our clients.