Funding for 500 specialist advisors who give free advice to people in debt is to be stopped next month http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12330429
The announcement comes on top of local authority budget cuts and escalating redundancies and at a time of year when the country is still getting back on its feet after the Christmas and New Year spend.
“Now, more than ever, free impartial debt advice is crucial,” said John Fairhurst, MD at Payplan, one of just a handful of free debt advice providers in the UK.
The Payplan boss said he sympathised with a Government charged with cutting public spending at a time when the UK was in such economic turmoil – and Fairhurst said the debt advice sector now had a duty to meet the challenges this latest service cut will undoubtedly throw up.
“Our advisors take calls daily from people in real hardship, this is not an issue we can sweep under the carpet and pretend isn’t happening,” explained Fairhurst. “We have seen the number of inquiries rising since Christmas and the loss of 500 Government-funded advisors means there will be more vulnerable people seeking help.
“Our biggest concern is that people in this position speak to providers, such as ourselves, who offer free impartial expertise with no hidden costs – the last thing people need is to be saddled with even more debt.”
Payplan works alongside such organisations as Citizens Advice Bureau and the National Debtline. While the Office of Fair Trading recently cracked down on a number of ‘bad practice’ debt provision companies, it gave Payplan a clean bill of health.
“At a time when people are in need of real help and advice, it is important they aren’t taken advantage of – the loss of 500 free advisors means there is less free advice available within the marketplace – it is our duty as a responsible provider to ensure that ourselves and companies like us do all we can to assist people who find themselves with debt issues,” added John Fairhurst.
For help with debt management and advice regarding any debt issue, including debt consolidation, contact the national provider - 0800 280 2816 or visit: http://www.payplan.com or try one of the other leading impartial advisors, the National Debtline: http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/ - 0808 808 4000.
Note to editors
Payplan was established in 1992 and is regarded as one of the UK’s leading providers of free debt solutions.
Its award-winning service helps over 100,000 people in financial difficulties every year.
In November 2010 it announced a working collaboration with the Consumer Financial Education Body (CFEB), the consumer arm of the Financial Services Authority.