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Policy and Government

At CAP we don’t want to just treat the symptoms of poverty; we also want to address the causes. That’s why we’re working tirelessly behind the scenes to shape and influence the policies that affect our clients. It means we get to speak on behalf of the vulnerable to the people with the power to change their lives. And our voice is growing louder.

Industry professionals seek our opinion on current issues, and our recommendations get heard in Parliament. Change is happening. Below are some of the ways in which we are fighting for justice amongst the country’s key decision-makers.

Latest updates

Regulating Buy-Now Pay-Later

calendar06 January 2022

Last year the Government announced their intention to bring new unreleased digital Buy-Now Pay-Later products into consumer credit regulation. CAP has now responded to a HM Treasury consultation about how this regulation should be established. Regulation is essential for consumer protection, especially considering some of the particular dynamics of this type of lending, and we have argued that, in addition to the existing consumer credit regulatory regime, these lenders must be made responsible for the way their products are advertised and promoted by retailers. Read our full response below.

Read the full document here

Council Tax in Wales: Income thresholds for Attachment of Earnings Orders

calendar31 December 2021

CAP responded to the Welsh Government's consultation for views on their proposal to amend earnings thresholds for Attachment of Earnings Orders (AEO) used by local authorities to collect unpaid council tax. We agreed with the policy intention to uprate the earnings thresholds in line with cost of living, asking for this to be done annually in future. We also shared our views on the weakness of the current legislative approach of deducting a fixed percentage of net earnings. Within the current framework, we suggested deductions be made progressively, similar to income tax bands, but also proposed the adoption of an income and expenditure approach, similar to the County Court Attachment of Earnings process. Read our full response below. 

Read the full document here

Pre-action protocols for civil court action

calendar23 December 2021

CAP responded to the Civil Justice Council consultation on pre-action protocols. Pre-action protocols intend to give a framework for parties to resolve and narrow down disputes before taking legal action. We broadly agreed with the importance of having pre-action protocols. To protect vulnerable individuals who lack the capacity to deal with or dispute their liability for a debt, we also welcomed the proposals that increase the expectations on the party intending to make a claim. We especially welcomed the proposal to extend the scope to claims brought by private landlords and for all mortgaged properties that are occupied as a home. We also encouraged an exploration of the practicalities and benefits of creating a new mandatory protocol for Council Tax before the case is taken to court for a Liability Order. Read our full response below.

Read the full document here

Initial impact revealed of end of the Universal Credit uplift

calendar14 December 2021

The Universal Credit uplift, introduced in response to the Coronavirus pandemic in April 2020, was formally withdrawn on 6 October 2021. Over the course of the next five weeks claimants saw this reflected in their Universal Credit payments. Two months on, the reality of this for claimants has set in and at CAP, we have begun to see evidence of the devastating impact this has had for millions of people across the UK. A survey of 624 people receiving debt help from CAP, conducted between 8 and 25 November 2021, found that more than half (54%) of clients whose payments reduced when the uplift was removed have already experienced at least one form of financial hardship - either falling behind with bills, going without essentials or falling into more debt. And 12% had already experienced all three of these. Read the full results in the briefing below.

Read the full document here

Digital divide - a look at financial difficulty and digital exclusion

calendar01 December 2021

2.6 million people in the UK do not use the internet regularly, and 14.9 million have very low levels of engagement (according to the Lloyds UK Consumer Digital Index). This report presents data from CAP clients, as well UK-wide population data from Experian Mosaic, to reveal the barriers that cause persistent and periodic digital exclusion – including capability and confidence, lack of access to devices and infrastructure, and the ongoing cost of internet data or a broadband connection. Click here to read more and download the report.

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Other and previous reports:

Client report 2021 Simplify the Solution A dark place Unlocking a new start Stacked against report Left destitute by debt Checking in Powerless People The Freedom Report Never just a number The case for fairshare Setting the pace Offline and shut out The poor pay more Client Report 2020 Client Report 2019 Client Report 2018 Client report 2016 Client report 2015 Client report 2014 Client report 2013

Introducing CAP's External Affairs team

Meet the team representing CAP and building relationships in the credit and debt advice industries, as well as the third sector and with the Government:

Gareth McNab
Director of External Affairs

Rachel Gregory
Social Policy Manager

Jonathan Shaw
Relationship Manager

Paul Walmsley
Relationship Manager

Helen Webb
Relationship Manager

Mark Anchen
Relationship Manager