To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the May 2019 Fairness Group Joint Public Statement, what progress he has made in applying Fairness Principles to government debt management.
18 May 2020
The government recognises the importance of providing the right support for people who are vulnerable or in financial hardship during the debt recovery process. This position was emphasised by the joint public statement, drafted in partnership with the debt advice sector and other consumer groups.
The government’s Fairness Principles are aligned with the Financial Conduct Authority’s Treating Customers Fairly Principles. These provide a best practice framework that has been embedded into the Government Debt Strategy and the Government Debt Standard.
Debt management in local government is undertaken in line with specific legislation. When a customer is identified as being vulnerable, there is support available, tailored to individual circumstances. This includes longer repayment terms and consideration of payment holidays. Government has a duty to balance this against the need to recover money owed to taxpayers.