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.
30 August 2017
We have responded to the Money Advice Service's (MAS) latest consultation, 'A strategic approach to debt advice commissioning 2018-2023'. The consultation invited comments on MAS's commissioning intentions for the provision of MAS-funded debt advice from 2018 to 2023. CAP were in support of MAS's focus on financial capability, client outcomes and taking a joined-up approach, yet were hesitant about the feasibility of integrating them across the debt advice sector. We also emphasised the value of Fairshare in providing a stable income for organisation such as CAP, who are not commissioned by MAS. Click below to read our full response.Read the full document here
29 August 2017
The latest Ofgem consultation provided revised proposals and draft licence conditions covering prepayment meter (PPM) installation under warrant. We have responded to welcome the protection this will bring to those in financial difficulty and vulnerable situations. In particular we were happy to see the prohibition on force fitting a PPM where the installation process would be ‘severely traumatic’. The cap of warrant-related costs to £150 to provide incentives for suppliers to pursue a warrant as a last resort was also welcomed, as well as preventing warrant-related costs exacerbating financial difficulty. Targeting will be key to ensure this is effective in practice, and we also believe that there is space for more safeguards to be put in place for customers with a smart meter, where switching to PPM can be done remotely. Read the rest of our response below.Read the full document here
18 August 2017
Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), who oversees the Scottish Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), are considering three options to increase flexibility by changing how the Common Financial Tool (CFT) is used to calculate contributions in a Debt Payment Plan (DPP). Flexibility is hugely beneficial, but there are concerns about the sustainability of plans being impacted. We have responded to highlight flexibility increases sustainability, but that this should be done where circumstances necessitate it rather than lengthening plans as a matter of course. To read our full response click below.Read the full document here
24 July 2017
We have responded to Ofgem's final proposal for new Standards of Conduct for suppliers in the retail energy market. This consultation proposed to make the Standards simpler and more easily accessible, making amendments to the Fairness Test to focus on outcomes as well as adding a broad vulnerability principle. We remain in strong support of the vulnerabillity principle, which gives adequate attention to consumers in vulnerable situations. That being said, identifying vulnerability will present itself as a challenge for suppliers, as most in vulnerable situations do not self-identify. To read our full response click below.Read the full document here
03 July 2017
30 million people have a credit card in the UK - that's 60% of the adult population. For the majority, a credit card is a useful credit product, but for an estimated 4.5 million who have persistent debt it is very costly and firms have little incentive to help them reduce this. In light of this, the FCA has proposed a new intervention that will rebalance incentives for both customers and firms to make an active choice to repay more quickly if they can afford to do so, and offer help to those who cannot. This is targeted at customers who have been in persistent debt for more than 18 months, which means they have paid more in interest and charges than in principal. CAP has responded to the FCA’s consultation to welcome this intervention but raise concerns that it will come too late for many in problem debt.Read the full document here