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Borrowing: Elderly

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps he is taking to inform older people of the risks they incur through borrowing too much. (255764)

The Government fully recognise the risks for older people of borrowing too much, particularly for those on low incomes. The vast majority of older people have no debts and are able to manage their finances. However, we are aware that many older people struggle to meet the cost of day to day living, and that some have been borrowing to finance these costs.

The Government have invested considerable resource in debt advice over recent years. It has allocated £130 million to expand the provision of free debt advice for the financially excluded through the Financial Inclusion Fund. A further £15.85 million was allocated to support the National Debt Line and Citizen's Advice in the last Pre-Budget Report. These services are targeted at the financially excluded, including older people in financial difficulty.

The Government have also undertaken a number of measures to strengthen signposting to debt advice services, including a Direct.Gov campaign. The Direct.Gov website provides links to Help the Aged, Age Concern and other organisations able to provide financial information to this vulnerable group.