An extra 60,000 people in England and Wales will receive free debt advice for this year through a new injection of funding to The Money Advice Service (MAS).
MAS expects 220,000 people to receive help through the Service’s debt advice partners in the year to March 2015, compared to 163,000 in 2013/14 – an increase of 35%.
Advice will be provided both face-to-face through organisations such as Citizens Advice, Toynbee Hall and Talking Money, and over the phone.
The extra funding will be committed under new three year grant agreements with its partners, commencing on 1 October. £30.6m will be committed in 2014/15 – £3.6m more than in 2013/14. Funding for subsequent years has yet to be agreed.
MAS has said the new money will be targeted at parts of England and Wales such as Cornwall, Northumberland, Kent, Lancashire, Norfolk and Bridgend in Wales, areas MAS believes to be “in greatest need”.
Over the last year, MAS says that 88% of people that received advice from the Service’s partners took action to manage their debts.
Lesley Robinson, UK debt advice director at the Money Advice Service, said: “High quality debt advice is hugely effective in helping people get their finances back under control.
“Debt advice improves the well-being of people who are struggling with their finances, it helps creditors get repaid and it means that people can move on with their lives.
“The new funding and the changes we’re generating across advice delivery will transform debt advice in England and Wales, which in turn will transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”
Between April and June 2014, 27,029 individuals entered personal insolvency proceedings, a 5.1% increase on the same quarter in 2013, although this does not take into account other debt management processes.