Money Advice Trust > Media centre > News > Payment deferrals extension welcome but action needed for renters and self-employed

Payment deferrals extension welcome but action needed for renters and self-employed

2 November 2020

 

The Money Advice Trust has welcomed the FCA’s proposal​ to extend the availability of payment deferrals on mortgages and on credit cards, loans and other forms of consumer credit by 6 months.  The move was confirmed this morning, after the Government’s announcement of a second lockdown and extension to the Job Retention Scheme over the weekend.

The charity has called for similar action for people who are self-employed, people struggling to pay their rent and those claiming Universal Credit.

Joanna Elson CBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said:

“The FCA has been right to respond quickly to this second lockdown, which will unfortunately see many more households fall into financial difficulty – some of them for the first time.  Extending the availability of payment deferrals on both mortgages and consumer credit is a sensible approach. 

“Together with the Government’s extension of the Job Retention Scheme this will at least mitigate some of the financial impact of the resurgence of Covid-19.

“We need similar action, however, for people who are self-employed – including increasing Self-employment Income Support Scheme grants back to 80% of average earnings, to match the support available through furlough.  Worryingly, the government’s temporary scrapping of the Minimum Income Floor – which has given self-employed people fairer access to Universal Credit – comes to an end later this month.  This change must be extended straight away.

“Help for homeowners with mortgages must be matched with help for people struggling to pay their rent – including a further freeze on repossessions, increasing the rate of Local Housing Allowance to cover 50% of average market rents, and more discretionary support.

“More widely, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Government will have to extend its £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit beyond April.  It would be better to announce this now, to give people who have lost their jobs some reassurance that this additional support will not be withdrawn in just a few months time.”​

 
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