To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment has been made by the Money and Pensions Service of potential job losses following its recommendation to reduce community-based debt advice funding provision by 50 per cent.
4 February 2022
Supporting people in problem debt is a Government priority. This is why the Government provided recorded levels of funding during the pandemic to the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) for free-to-client debt advice provision in England.
The Government has also given MaPS a statutory duty to have close regard for vulnerable people and is working closely with MaPS regarding its next steps for local debt advice provision.
MaPS has not recommended a 50% reduction in community-based debt advice funding as part of its commissioning exercise. The evaluation of bids on the regional lot of their commissioning exercise was recently completed. The evaluation revealed concerns that the services being offered would not adequately meet the needs of people in vulnerable circumstances at the scale MaPS had hoped to achieve, or provide value for money. Therefore, MaPS will not be awarding contracts under the regional lot at this time.
The Government is working closely with MaPS to provide further information to the bidders and the sector shortly with regards to its commissioning exercise and next steps.