Sharon McDougall - 22nd February 2023 - 2 minutes to read
A group of charities and campaign organisations are calling for the Scottish government to pause its debt recovery efforts to help thousands of families cope better with the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP), the Robertson Trust and the Aberlour children’s charity are among those who want to see council tax and rent arrears, as well as Universal Credit debts, paused to give hard up families some much needed financial breathing space.
A letter outlining the case for pausing public sector debt collections was sent to the Scottish government in advance of debates in the Scottish parliament around forward-looking spending priorities.
Debts linked to council tax arrears and Universal Credit are well established as major parts of the financial picture for many thousands of indebted Scots, with benefit payments very often being reduced because their intended recipients owe money to the DWP.
From the perspective of the organisations making the case for a pause to public debt collections, those kind of arrears are a key reason why so many Scots are currently under so much financial pressure and struggling to make ends meet.
Research released by Aberlour recently showed that most families with children in Scotland who receive Universal Credit have the amounts of money they get from the DWP reduced by 10 per cent or more due to the public debts they owe.
“Low income families are falling deeper into debt as they try to make ends meet,” explained SallyAnn Kelly, Aberlour’s chief executive.
“Many are relying on charities and foodbanks just to cover the basic things they need for their children.
“That’s why we are calling for a pause to public debt recovery for families on the lowest incomes to give them breathing space during the cost of living crisis.”
The CAP’s national director for Scotland Emma Jackson added: “We know problem debt can have a devastating impact on every aspect of people's lives.
“A pause in public debt recovery would offer an essential lifeline to those who need it most.”
If you live anywhere in Scotland and you are worried about your debt situation then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Contact us directly to arrange a FREE and confidential consultation.
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