MPs debate cuts to debt advice

As we mentioned last week, Emma Hardy MP has arranged a Westminster Hall debate for tomorrow morning (1st December, 9.30am).

You can watch the debate live here, or catch up later if you miss it.

We hope this will be a chance to properly examine the way this recommissioning process has been run, and the dreadful impact it will have on debt advisers and debt advice clients.

MaPS responds to the Treasury Committee

A couple of week ago, the Treasury Committee wrote to the chief executive of the Money & Pensions Service (MaPS) with some pointed questions about the recommissioning process (letter here).

Yesterday, MaPS responded with a 7-page letter that failed to give any convincing answers. Emma Hardy MP has tweeted a copy of the MaPS letter here, and you can read a point-by-point response from We Are Debt Advisers here.

MPs to debate cuts to face-to-face debt advice

Emma Hardy, MP for Hull West and Hessle, has announced today that she has secured a Westminster Hall debate on ‘Reductions in community debt advice services’.

This is a fantastic opportunity to publicise the cuts to face-to-face advice services, and we’re hoping to see a good turnout from the many MPs who have supported our campaign.

Westminster Hall debates are a way for MPs to discuss important current issues, but they do not have any authority to make rules or laws.

The debate is on Wednesday 1st December 9.30 to 11.00 and will be available to watch live on the Parliament TV website. We’ll send out a link to watch it nearer the time, and a transcript will be available afterwards.

Special thanks to Emma Hardy MP who has supported our campaign to #SaveDebtAdvice from the start.

Debt advisers speaking to MaPS

On 17th November, Unite Debt Advice Network members joined an online debate between frontline debt advisers and senior figures at the Money & Pensions Service, organised by our friends at We Are Debt Advisers (WADA).

Edited highlights of the session (cutting out those advisers who did not want their contributions made public) are available online. It makes very interesting viewing!

WADA has also produced an up-to-date briefing document for MPs. This has been sent to all MPs.

Debt advisers are stronger when we stand together

Unite Debt Advice Network (UDAN) formed in September 2021 to bring together workers in the debt advice sector from across the UK to improve jobs, pay and conditions.

We have members working in Citizens Advice, local authorities, housing associations, independent advice agencies, law centres and national advice providers.

Recent years have seen worsening conditions for debt advisers at a time when our work is needed more than ever before.

Unpaid overtime, excessive bureaucracy, unmeetable targets and low pay are driving experienced debt advisers out of our sector. Now the Money & Pensions Service – the largest funder in the sector – plans to cut face-to-face debt advice funding by more than 50%, leading to redundancies and a far worse service for our clients.

We’re fed up watching the damage being done to our profession and our colleagues.