Laura Sharman 01 March 2019

Early intervention key to helping those at risk of falling into debt, says report

Councils in Wales are being urged by a think tank to do more to support those at risk of falling into debt given the large council tax increases on the horizon.

In a new report, the Wales Centre for Public Policy calls on councils to build personalised and proactive support for vulnerable citizens to stop them falling behind on their council tax or social housing rent payments.

This includes identify and acting on problems as early as possible and making it easier for people to access independent specialist help

Dr Paul Worthington of the Wales Centre for Public Policy said: ‘Some councils are already doing good work, but the advice and support on offer across Wales is too inconsistent. Councils should be learning from each other and striving to improve the way they support those vulnerable to debt.

’There’s also a lot to be learned from the way many social landlords support their tenants who are at risk of rent arrears, and an increase in data-sharing and staff development between them and local councils is one way to improve the support on offer.

The report also warns that councils may not be able to fund extra support in the future due to budget cuts and increased workload pressures.

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