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Longhurst Group adds name to Salvation Army letter to Government about Debt Respite Scheme

Longhurst Group is delighted to have added its name to a letter to Government calling for Universal Credit Advance Payments to be included in an upcoming debt reclaim freeze.

We’ve joined organisations such as Unison and Advice UK in signing the letter, compiled by The Salvation Army, which calls on the Government to include Universal Credit Advance Payments in its Debt Respite Scheme.

The scheme is a 60-day ‘breathing space’ where enforcement action from creditors will be paused for people with problem debt.

However, Government loans, including Advance Payments for Universal Credit claimants, are not currently included.

Advance Payments are payments given to Universal Credit claimants as they wait for their claim to be processed, which can often take several weeks. Many people rely on these loans to make ends meet until their first payment.

These are then automatically deducted from future Universal Credit payments.

Craig Taylor, Longhurst Group’s Director of Housing, said: “As an organisation, we’re proud to have added our name to this letter and are delighted to pledge our support.

This is an incredibly important issue and especially so in the current circumstances.

“The inclusion of Universal Credit Advance Payments in the Breathing Space programme would be hugely beneficial for many of our customers who are experiencing problem debt and so we’re fully in support of anything that raises awareness of the need for change.”

According to The Salvation Army, more than one million Universal Credit advance payments were made between March and September this year and the charity is concerned that many will have struggled to eat or heat their homes while they were repaying this Government debt. 

As unemployment is expected to keep rising, the joint letter is urging Government to act now to protect more claimants from this debt trap.

At Longhurst Group, we’ve got our own Money Advice Team which is here to support our customers. Our Money Advisors are on hand to help you with benefit claims, ensuring you’re receiving all benefits you’re entitled to and other financial help such as budgeting, saving and how to save money on your bills.

This free service can be accessed by clicking here, or by calling 0300 123 1745 and pressing option 2 and asking for the Money Advice Team.

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