The government has announced that an extra £37.8 million will be made available to support debt advice providers during 2020-21. The distribution of the money will be overseen by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS). MaPS will set out the process for allocating funds in the coming weeks to charities for debt advice and to other money guidance services.
The funding consists of £20.6 million from the government and £14.2 million raised through a one-off increase to the Financial Services Levy. In addition, MaPS will also be contributing a further £3 million from their existing budget.
Caroline Siarkiewicz, Chief Executive of MaPS, said:
‘The impact the Coronavirus pandemic will have on people’s financial wellbeing is significant and will continue for some time. We know there will be increased demand for free, expert debt advice services over the coming months and this extra funding will help to ensure that more people can access help more quickly. Our MaPS services are here to provide support for people when they need it and to help them navigate the tricky months ahead’.
The money will help providers to deliver advice to 1 million additional people in England over the next 12-28 months, especially those who may be experiencing financial problems due to the Coronavirus disruption. The government also confirmed that the additional funding will be matched for the devolved administrations, resulting in an extra combined £5.9 million for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.