The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) tender process for debt advice closed on 15th October.
The tendering exercise threatens the future of face to face debt advice, with a 50% cut to community based services. The prioritisation of digital advice channels over face to face provision will leave many more vulnerable debtors unable to get the support they need.
We have written to MaPS expressing our concerns and have called for the tender process to be halted pending a full and proper consultation.
We need to act together!
We wrote to every single MP on 24th September to warn them about the implications of the MaPS contracts for debt advice, and to ask for their support and at a Parliamentary debate on 1st December, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, promised that his officials would consider the case for suspending the procurement exercise.
We are pleased that we already have cross-party support for our campaign and that the Treasury Committee has engaged with MaPS about the issue. But we need to do more to lobby the Economic Secretary to take action.
Here is what we are now asking you to do:
1. If you are on Twitter, then send out a tweet to John Glen MP (@JohnGlenUK) asking him to suspend the MaPS procurement exercise to #savedebtadvice and tag your MP.
3. You can also e-mail your MPs. It helps if you can add local concerns about the impacts of the MaPS contracts, but if you do not have time to do this or do not know yet what these are likely to be, then a simple e-mail along the following lines will do:
"Dear (name) MP,
I am a debt adviser serving people in your constituency, and am writing to bring your attention to the risks posed by the current tendering for debt advice contracts being conducted by the Money and Pensions Service. These are likely to result in a considerable reduction in face to face debt advice services at a time when both the demand for, and complexity of, debt advice is increasing and could lead to job losses within debt advice in your area.
A full briefing on the issues can be downloaded here, and at a Parliamentary debate on 1st December John Glen MP committed to considering a suspension of the procurement exercise. Please write to him requesting this.
Yours sincerely etc."