Sharon McDougall - 16th March 2016 - 2 minutes to read
The Money Advice Service (MAS), which was set up in 2010 to provide information and guidance for people around the UK on a full range of personal finance issues, is to be closed down by the government.
Chancellor George Osborne is to confirm the planned closure of the service in his Budget speech on March 16th, with MPs having described the MAS in recent years as being “not fit for purpose”.
A report on the performance of the MAS by MPs in Westminster, which was published in 2013, also claimed that senior staff at the organisation were receiving “excessive pay”.
One former MAS executive, Tom Hobman, was apparently being paid as much as £350,000 per year before he left the organisation in 2012.
The effectiveness of the MAS as a service designed to help individuals and households manage their finances and avoid perilous debt management scenarios has repeatedly been called into question since it was first created.
Critics have said that the service has struggled to gain enough recognition among the general public around the UK to justify the amounts of public money allocated to it on an annual basis.
Expectations are that Mr Osborne will announce plans to replace the MAS with a smaller operation that performs some of the same functions as the Money Advice Service but which cost far less money to operate.
“We will work with the government to fully consider the implications of this announcement,” a spokesperson for the MAS said ahead the chancellor’s Budget.
“In the meantime we will continue to fulfil our statutory role to help people make the most of their money.”
Some critics of the MAS have suggested that its services have been too heavily reliant on web-based information rather than face-to-face advice and one-to-one guidance in relation to financial problems and debt management issues.
Thankfully, there are other sources of advice and assistance available to anyone struggling with debts and creditor problems in the UK.
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