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'Year of pressure' ahead for many households

Money Advice Trust comments on Budget 2017 and new OBR Fiscal Outlook


Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said of today’s Budget:

“While the economy is performing better than expected, the OBR’s forecasts point to a year of pressure ahead for household finances.  The toxic combination of rising household debt, stagnating incomes, higher inflation and a falling savings rate means that many more people are at risk of falling into problem debt in the coming years.

“Amid these worrying trends, we need to do more to make sure that people who are struggling – whether they are employed, self-employed or unemployed – receive the free advice and support they need to get back on track.”

The Money Advice Trust also runs Business Debtline, the UK’s only dedicated free advice service for self-employed people and other small business owners:

“While self-employed people on the lowest incomes will actually pay less in National Insurance from 2018, the prospect of future tax rises on this growing section of the workforce will be a concern for many.  More than 50,000 sole traders and other small business owners contact Business Debtline every year, and few have much headroom to cope with even small additional costs.

“We hope that through the current reviews taking place, these changes will be accompanied by a commitment to improve protections for self-employed people, including by helping them build up crucial safety nets of short and long term savings.

“Similarly, businesses with premises will be relieved that the impact of Business Rate changes have been softened, but even a £50 a month increase will add to the significant challenges many small businesses already face.

“Anyone small business owner struggling to cope should seek free, independent advice from Business Debtline as soon as possible.”

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