Government U-Turn on Citizens Advice Bureau Debt Advisor Funding

On February 13, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • free credit report UK from ExperianThey say a week is a long time in politics!
  • Indeed around 500 debt advisors employed by the Citizens Advice Bureau would certainly vouch for that statement!

This time last week, the government announced that the £25million a year Financial Inclusion Fund was not due to be extended beyond March – one of the many cutbacks seen by the coalition to balance the nation’s finances.

However, this week has seen the Business Secretary Vince Cable announce that £27million has now been found to maintain this programme during 2011.  Not only does this service allow the average Briton access to valuable free debt advice, it also ensures that around 500 employees have been saved from the ever expanding dole queues of the Job Centre.

At a cost of around £54,000 per employee, this may be seen as quite a hefty price to pay, but it is the money that these employees will save the government that is most likely to have changed the minds of continuing the Financial Inclusion Fund from within Westminster.

This blog reported last week that the BBC had estimated there would be circa 200,000 new requests for debt advice during 2011, which represents around 400 extra cases for these debt advisors to manage.

With the government keen to keep a lid on spiralling welfare costs, if each debt advisor is able to help just seven of these 400 people stay away from the unemployment queues (as a result of their financial mismanagement) then they are likely to justify their existence.

Speaking on Radio 4’s PM Programme in 2009, Professor Paul Gregg (Economics Department and CMPO) suggested that unemployment costs the government approximately £8,000 per head.  So it is easy to see why the extension of the Financial Inclusion Fund has been put on the priority list.  It is fair to expect that each debt advisor can easily exceed this target and in the meantime, political noise is avoided.  Perhaps common sense can still win the day!

Mr Cable did however request other backers to support the Financial Inclusion Fund moving forward.  If ever there was the chance for one of the UK’s major banks to win some much needed publicity, then surely supporting this scheme makes for both a great PR exercise and provides a reasonable bargaining chip for the next time The Treasury wish to increase taxes on Banks.

As this blog did mention last week, with the sheer volume of cases that Citizens Advice lend support to, it can be difficult to always provide speedy responses to those in the most difficult and vulnerable of circumstances.

It is for this reason that at Lewis Alexander we offer a financial healthcheck.  Our lines are open 24 hours a day when calling our freephone number 0800 018 6868.

We are always happy to speak to new potential clients to see if we are able to help them with their financial difficulties and believe this is a service that can supplement the offering from Citizens Advice.

As a company, Lewis Alexander has offered free debt advice since incorporation in 2003, it is only when clients take our ongoing help and select services such as a debt management plan that we start to charge for our help and assistance.

Many of our clients say that they have approached the CAB and often have started to complete financial overview statements or budgeting forms that CAB’s advisors have provided.   This is a great first step in starting a journey towards a controlled and managed financial future as it allows you to truly understand your personal circumstances and allows us to take quicker action in speaking to your creditors should you want us to offer a solution that would work for you.

As an established provider of debt management services, we think it is important to consider your personal circumstances before providing our advice on the solution best suited to your situation.  Being in debt is very stressful and it is for this reason that we consider details of all of your options before highlighting the best option, to help you understand the best way out of your personal debt problems.

Our specialist advisors provide high levels of client service and treat your case in the strictest of confidence.

So remember, Citizens Advice is a great start to finding solutions to your debt problems, but if you wish to relieve our government of any costs you can and think you can afford a personal case manager for approximately £1 per day to work on your behalf urgently then contact Lewis Alexander today.

Our free from a landline personal debt helpline number again is 0800 018 6868.

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