On 2 November 2016, the APPG brought together council representatives, advice agencies and MPs to discuss how Council Tax debt collection practices can be improved.
Joanna Elson from Money Advice Trust introduced the subject. Debt advice charities have shown how councils are often too quick to send bailiffs round for unpaid Council Tax. The charity’s Stop the Knock campaign shows over 1.27 million Council Tax debts were referred to enforcement in 2014/15. This was in spite of government guidance saying bailiffs should only ever be used as a last resort. Continue reading
On 3 March 2016 the APPG held a joint meeting with the APPG on Credit Unions to discuss how the Government can help low income groups to save.
Robin Walker MP introduced the event, citing the Prime Minister’s speech in January announcing the Government’s intention to launch a ‘help to save’ initiative at Budget 2016. He remarked at how he was struck by the transformative power of small scale savings for people’s life chances. Continue reading
On 9 December 2015 the APPG held a meeting to discuss the Financial Conduct Authority’s credit card market study.
At a well-attended meeting, the Group heard first from Mary Starks, who is Director of Competition at the FCA and responsible for the Study. While she said that the market was working ‘fairly well’ for consumers, she raised concerns over the extent of unaffordable credit card debt. Continue reading
On 14 July 2015 the APPG held a Financial Fair, a drop-in event for MPs and Peers to find out more about organisations helping people to manage their money and deal with financial problems. Guests speakers included Treasury Minister Damian Hinds MP and Martin Lewis, Editor of MoneySavingExpert.com.
On 9 December 2014 the APPG held an oral evidence session of the Group’s inquiry into the Rent to Own sector. MPs heard evidence from: Financial Conduct Authority; BrightHouse, PerfectHome and Buy As You View; Thrive, the Centre for Responsible Credit and RTO social enterprise, FairForYou. Read the full evidence session transcript.
On 24 November 2014 the APPG held a meeting with with The Children’s Society to explore the impact of household debt on children and rally support for amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill that would restrict payday loan advertising targeted at children and introduce a ban on the unsolicited marketing of payday loans.
On 17 June 2014 the APPG held a joint meeting with the Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency APPG to discuss how well the energy market works for vulnerable consumers.
Marilyn Price of Stratford-upon-Avon CAB spoke first. She explained PPM users pay higher energy prices and often endure the loss of energy supply. Many feel the information suppliers provide on fuel costs was poor, making it difficult to manage money well. Continue reading
On 13 May 2014 the APPG held a joint meeting with the Mental Health APPG on debt and mental health as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2014.
MoneySavingExpert.com’s Martin Lewis opened by urging lenders not to disenfranchise those with mental health problems. He said borrowers need the option to constrain their credit use during periods of acute symptoms. This includes an automatic card block in response to unusual spending patterns – which a trusted friend could then unlock. Continue reading
On 5 March 2014 a breakfast meeting was held to discuss the fallout from the PPI mis-selling scandal and the lessons to be learned.
Yvonne Fovargue MP chaired the meeting, inviting panellists to respond to a new report from Citizens Advice on claims management companies and the costs of redress. Continue reading
On 19 November 2013, the APPG on Debt and Personal Finance held a joint meeting with StepChange Debt Charity to discuss the Financial Conduct Authority’s proposals for regulating the payday lending sector.
The meeting provided MPs and members of the Group the chance to question the FCA directly on its proposals and feed in to its consultation. Continue reading