Laura Sharman 26 July 2021

Families facing 'tidal wave' of debt warns think tank

Families facing tidal wave of debt warns think tank image

A new partnership between bailiff companies and charities has been launched to help families facing a 'tidal wave' of debt due to the pandemic.

The initiative, engineered by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), will ensure people caught in a Covid debt crisis do not face unfair treatment by bailiffs.

A new independent body – the Enforcement Conduct Authority (ECA) – will help stop harmful debt collection tactics and support vulnerable people in arrears.

Analysis of official data by the CSJ shows outstanding council tax has reached £4.4bn, an increase of 24% in the past year.

Andy Cook, chief executive of the CSJ, said: 'Britain faces a tidal wave of national and individual debt, increased by the economic challenges of containing a pandemic.

'Problem debt ruins lives. It tears families apart, places a strain on employment, and can even lead people down a path to alcohol and substance dependency.

'The Enforcement Conduct Authority developed by the CSJ with the debt advice and enforcement sectors will empower bailiffs to carry out their duty to courts, creditors and taxpayers fairly, while equipping them with the tools to support vulnerable people on a sustainable journey out of debt.'

The new body will introduce measures to address inconsistent and inappropriate enforcement agent behaviour, reform the complaints system, and change how people experiencing hardship or other vulnerabilities will be treated.

Peter Tutton, head of policy, research and public affairs at StepChange Debt Charity, said: 'In the absence of statutory regulation, this pragmatic collaboration between the debt advice sector and the enforcement sector to establish a regulator with meaningful powers should help to address the poor practice that has previously characterised too many people’s experience with bailiffs.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Accountant x2

Islington London Borough Council
£39,462 - £45,594 per annum
There are two roles currently being advertised, one working with our Resources finance team, and one with our Housing and Public Health finance team. Islington, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Islington London Borough Council

Programme Director – Fisheries

Falkland Islands Government
£50,771 up to £56,292
The Programme Director – Fisheries will support the Director of Natural Resources Falkland Islands (FK)
Recuriter: Falkland Islands Government

Principal Engineer/Team Leader Street Works

Bath & North East Somerset Council
£39,880 - £42,821 pa
The Council’s Street Works Team is responsible for managing all aspects of road works and events that take place on our highway network. Keynsham, Bristol
Recuriter: Bath & North East Somerset Council

Social Worker / Advanced Practitioner – Children & Families Service

North Yorkshire County Council
£30,451 - £39,880 per annum pro rata + relocation support
North Yorkshire County Council have a national reputation for excellence. Skipton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Senior Technician - Asset Management - Highways & Flood Risk

West Berkshire Council
£23,541 to £29,577 per annum (Grade G)
We are currently looking to recruit to two exciting opportunities who will join us and play a role in improving West Berkshire’s highways. Newbury, Berkshire
Recuriter: West Berkshire Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue