Money Advice Trust welcomes new government debt management vulnerability toolkit
The Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, has welcomed the Cabinet Office’s Debt Management Vulnerability Toolkit, published today. The toolkit, developed by the Cabinet Office’s Fairness Group Vulnerability Sub Committee, chaired by the Money Advice Trust, is designed to help government departments improve how they identify and support vulnerable customers in debt.
The toolkit brings together existing best practice and industry-standard tools to ensure people in debt are treated fairly and appropriately for their circumstances.
Joanna Elson CBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said: “The launch of today’s vulnerability toolkit is welcome and could not come at a more important time. With more and more people struggling to repay debts owed to government even before the impact of Covid-19, this toolkit provides much needed guidance for government departments looking to improve how they support vulnerable customers in debt.
“Our vulnerability training with creditors has highlighted how Government debt collection has typically lagged behind best practice in other sectors when it comes to supporting vulnerable customers. Through our involvement in the Cabinet Office’s Fairness Group Vulnerability Sub Group, I am encouraged to see government departments commit to improving their approach to debt collection.
“While this toolkit is a welcome step, all too often we see the negative impact that current practices have on the mental and financial health of people in debt. We hope these changes will be followed by further measures, including through a Government Debt Management Bill – to ensure everyone who owes debt to government is treated fairly and given time to repay in an affordable way.”