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Relief over tax credits, but financial positions still precarious

Money Advice Trust comment on Spending Review & Autumn Statement 2015
 
Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said of today’s Spending Review and Autumn Statement;
 
“Low-income households will be breathing a sigh of relief today after the Chancellor’s decision to abandon planned tax credit cuts.  This was the right decision. 
 
“However, today’s news should not lead us to underestimate the precarious financial position that many households are in.  Unsecured borrowing is increasing rapidly, and we are concerned that many households are turning to borrowing to make ends meet.  Other welfare changes are impacting budgets that are already stretched, and likely increases in council tax will also add to the pressure facing many households.
 
“It is essential these households receive free, independent debt advice from a charity-run service such as National Debtline, as early as possible.”
 
The Money Advice Trust also runs Business Debtline, the UK’s only free, dedicated advice service for the self-employed and other small business owners
 
Joanna added:
 
“We are pleased to see the doubling of small business rate relief extended for another 12 months, which will benefit around 600,000 of the smallest small businesses.  Ultimately, however, small business owners need longer-term certainty on business rates to enable to plan for the future.  We hope the current business rates review will be decisive in providing this.
“The move to digital tax accounts will be a further very significant change for many self-employed people and other small business owners, and it is important they are supported fully in making the transition to managing their tax online.”
 
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