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National Debtline

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 24 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment he has made of planned recruitment by National Debtline; what assessment he has made of how long it will take new staff to become fully operational; and if he will make a statement; (96436)

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the National Debtline; and if he will make a statement;

(3) how many staff were employed by the National Debtline in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement.

The National Debtline is run by the Money Advice Trust. It does crucial work in helping the over-indebted with their problems.

DTI have given National Debtline a grant of £1 million this year to help them expand their assistance programme. We clearly value their work and note that the recent Illuminas research on National Debtline concluded that three years on 85 per cent. of people who had received advice in 2003 felt more confident about managing their money and 90 per cent. felt more knowledgeable about their finances.

However, DTI do not run National Debtline and questions about the staffing levels, training programmes and their timings are best directed to the Money Advice Trust direct.