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.
20 February 2015
Yesterday, the tools that will be used to implement the changes to the Scottish personal bankruptcy regime announced last year were presented to the Scottish Parliament. As part of this, debtors will be allowed a 'contingency allowance’ when calculating the payment they will make to their creditors. This will act as a safety-net in emergencies, giving debtors access to a small amount of savings. We welcome these changes and agree that they will promote financial rehabilitation and life-long saving. CAP already encourages all our clients to save and have found this hugely successful, with our research showing 96% of our clients who become debt free stay debt free.
22 January 2015
Here is our External Relations Manager, Helen Webb, meeting Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, at one of our local CAP Debt Centres in Birmingham.
Helen said, 'It was fantastic to be able to meet with Iain Duncan Smith and tell him more about the work of CAP. We are very encouraged that he has taken a personal interest in what we are doing, and that he was keen to listen to some of our clients sharing the realities of living with debt and unemployment.'
15 January 2015
Today Business Minister Jo Swinson has announced changes to make it easier for the financially vulnerable to manage problem personal debt.
This follows CAP's involvement in the campaign to raise the maximum debt limit for a Debt Relief Order (DRO) amongst other proposals, as currently more than a third of our clients, many of whom are vulnerable, are too poor to go bankrupt.
From October 2015, the DRO debt limit will be raised from £15,000 to £20,000 and the asset limit from £300 to £1,000. The Insolvency Service predict this will enable 3,600 more people to use DROs instead of more expensive insolvency options. From CAP’s research this will allow 34% of our clients who are ’too poor to go bankrupt’ and were only ineligible for a DRO due to the previous debt limit to access a debt solution.
The Insolvency Service also announced an increase in the bankruptcy creditor petition level from £750 to £5,000. CAP welcomes this change and is pleased the Insolvency Service acknowledged creditors being able to trigger bankruptcy through the courts was disproportionate for such a small amount of debt
CAP's CEO Matt Barlow said: "The limit of £15,000 of debt was set in 2009 so we’re delighted the Insolvency Service have brought this bang up-to-date and we’re pleased to hear it will be reviewed again in 2017. We had campaigned for the limit to rise to £30,000 which would have seen more than half of our clients able to afford this debt solution. However, the line had to be drawn somewhere and £20,000 is a good start."
You can read the Insolvency Service's full article here and our response to the Insolvency Service’s consultation here.
13 January 2015
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced proposals to improve the quality of price comparison websites for payday loans, with the aim of bringing customer benefits through greater competition. At CAP we’re pleased improvements will be made but are concerned they do not go far enough and that other competition barriers remain. Read CAP’s thoughts on the latest amendments to these proposals.Read the full document here
05 January 2015
With 18 years' experience of helping people out of unmanageable debt, CAP has seen the substantial extent of credit card debt and the impact it has on our client's financial situations. Therefore, we welcome the Financial Conduct Authority's study into the credit card market and have submitted our own response to highlight particular areas for concern.Read the full document here