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Debt: Rural Areas

Volume 717: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase the number of face-to-face debt advisers operating in rural areas; and what is their target. [HL2187]

The Rural Project, part of the BIS face-to-face debt advice project, employs 24 advisers providing advice to around 4,800 financially excluded clients each year. Since the 2006 launch, they have helped 16,535 clients (to the end of 2009).

The project has a fixed budget which is primarily provided from the Treasury's Financial Inclusion Fund. There are no current plans to increase this although the Government's July 2009 consumer White Paper did provide the face-to-face debt advice project with an extra £300,000 which has allowed the Rural Project to help an additional 50 clients during a particularly busy period.