"Don't cut £25m of debt counselling..." blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.




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  • Sir Paul McCartney, much loved by many, is worth over £500m. Bono over a billion. Tony Ben's real estate alone is worth over £5m when he could easily down size to say a £500 k home and give the rest away.

    I'm sorry, but the truly sickening point is people like this cling to a huge overshare, when they could give away 90% and still be very rich indeed.

    It's about time society grew up and started stigmatising these Saints.

    Thats how society can help the needy. Charity should not be a piffling sideline that still leaves these Saints mega rich.
  • Sounds like a wise decision to hold out and search for the most effective method of protest... on the streets in our thousands might get the message across!!

    Remember the Poll Tax fiasco - the protests were effective then but can't remember how or even if they were organised or whether it was that the whole country was outraged because they were all directly affected. Sadly I was one of the very few who stood to benefit from it as I was in a student household!! But that's an aside.

    Learning from that, perhaps the way forward is to get the papers on board to make everyone feel involved enough to add their voices to the protest.

    I feel that what is needed is an in-depth assessment and analysis of the pros and cons of ALL the cuts. Labour should be doing this if they wish to be an effective opposition! We ought to be able to see evidence in order that our decision-making is guided by fact not a vague feeling that the cuts are wrong. THIS proposed cut is clearly not in the people's interest and the consequences could be dire - unrelieved stress overload and burnout through severe, unresolved financial anxieties, leading to physical and emotional illness, suicide, ... incalculable cost to industry, the economy and the NHS not to mention wrecked lives and all the fallout from that. Sad thing is - the Tories don't appear to give a fig about those who will fall by the wayside. As in Thatcher's era - it's the survival of the fittest, I'm afraid.
  • Simon Cowell could fund it in a heartbeat - X-Tract_Yourself_From_Debt.com

    Any number of footballers. Abramovich et al...

    A levy on Sky subscriptions ?
    Act in haste, repent at leisure.

    dunstonh wrote:
    Its a serious financial transaction and one of the biggest things you will ever buy. So, stop treating it like buying an ipod.
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    Interesting to read the expectation for individuals to fund it - surely much should come from the state?

    Also as a side note the problem with wanting 'street protests' or 'petitions' is only 1/5th of teh number of people are reading this blog than the John Lewis price promise blog - it just doesn't grab pubilc attention.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • lemonjellylemonjelly Forumite
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    Well I support your campaign Martin.

    Thankfully, there are those of us unlike some posters who are aware that the "I'm alright jack, stuff you" philosophy is a false economy.

    I am aware that Birmingham CAB is under threat, & it has set up facebook profiles, as well as being on local bbc news, and I believe ITN news last night.

    Here is the link for Birmingham CAB where it has been on the local BBC news: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-12279218

    There is a facebook page supporting the fight to keep the CAB service going: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Birmingham-CABs-free-independent-impartial-legal-advice/150270275026678


    And finally there is a petition to keep the service open: http://www.gopetition.com/petition/42339.html

    I've been sharing this wherever possible. I'll also add this to your thread.

    It seems disingenuous to promote a big society idea, then remove an exemplary organisation which provides volunteering opportunities.

    We are also in a situation where more than ever, people need access to good, accurat and independent money advice. Currently, Birmingham council have started refusing to deal with the CAB. Anyone with rent/council tax arrears is being told to see the councils debt team. How independent are they? Will they really act in the clients best interests? I doubt it. Birmingham CAB dealt with over £84million of debt last year. We continue in a significant economic downturn. People still need the help and support of others. It is up to us to keep such issues in the public eye.

    I applaud this move Martin!:T
    It's getting harder & harder to keep the government in the manner to which they have become accustomed.
  • edited 8 February 2011 at 2:36PM
    dancingfairydancingfairy Forumite
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    edited 8 February 2011 at 2:36PM
    A couple of thoughts from me:
    1) there is a discussion re the end of funding on the bankruptcy board and a small campaign over there - re contacting MP's etc
    2) there are important debates going on with regard to this today and tomorrow in parliament - see the bankruptcy thread.
    3) whilst no-one is saying that the CAB fails to deliver value for money/is ineffective - in fact I believe the opposite is true I wonder whether there would be some mileage in the representatives of the CAB to 'strike a deal' with the governement along the lines of - we'll accept some small cuts as long as you bring back the majority of our funding and we will adapt our model of delivery to target people more effectively in the community - perhaps outreach workers at hospitals, doctors, schools, libraries, leisure centres, old peoples homes, council offices, post offices etc asis - on some sort of rota basis - ie MOnday we'll be here, Tuesday here etc..?
    this would signal to the government that they accept the need to change - are willing to negotiate and that it would be part of the big society.
    4) Dame Hoodless came out yesterday warning of cuts damaging the big society and I think the demise of the CAB would deomosntrate this - by keeping the CAB financial advisers it would keep an army of volunteers as well - but you obviously need the specialist paid for workers to co-ordinate it all.
    5) the governement appear to want to set up a telephont hotline but I have heard suggestions that it will cost 1 million and not be set-up to next year - what'll happen to everyone in the meantime? I also believe that this will not be hitting the same group of people that CAB would see as has been said before - sometimes people need face to face help and people to sit down with them with the paperwork.
    6) time is of the essence as I believe many CAB workers have been given their notice - according to various BBC reports etc and funding is expected to be withdrawn very soon and CAB have started to refuse new clients already.

    Good Luck Martin.
    df
    Making my money go further with MSE :j
    How much can I save in 2012 challenge
    75/1200 :eek:
  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
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    MSE_Martin wrote: »
    Interesting to read the expectation for individuals to fund it - surely much should come from the state?
    Wealthy individuals could fund it via the state in the form of higher taxation for the super-rich.

    [But maybe the reason for these suggestions is that they are in response to your "Ask people to donate" comment.]
  • edited 9 February 2011 at 6:46PM
    fermifermi Forumite
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    edited 9 February 2011 at 6:46PM
    2) there are important debates going on with regard to this today and tomorrow in parliament

    Today' debate.

    Video

    http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=7542

    Hansard transcript:


    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110208/halltext/110208h0001.htm#11020827000001
    Free/impartial debt advice: National Debtline | StepChange Debt Charity | Find your local CAB

    IVA & fee charging DMP companies: Profits from misery, motivated ONLY by greed
  • As an agency (North Bristol Advice Centre) that has received Financial Inclusion Funding for the last five years I am writing to say how devastated I am that this funding is not to be continued. At a time when the demand for debt advice has never been greater (and that is before the full impact of the Government cuts to public spending is felt) I just do not know how we are going to manage. Not only are we loosing two fantastic, trained and professional debt advisors I have no idea where we are going to send people for advice as six agencies in Bristol are going to be affected by this.

    If the FIF debt advice services are forced to close at the end of March, as seems increasingly likely, we are not sure what alternatives sources of help would be suitable for the clients we serve. By definition, the FIF services are used by people with very low incomes and limited means. Their inability to repay substantial amounts towards any consumer credit debts means that private sector debt management services do not see them as a profitable client group to serve. Our research has found that there is very little overlap and duplication between the national telephone advice services and the local FIF services, with clients using the local services; often on referral from other local agencies such as Jobcentres, landlords and councils and having problems or communication needs requiring an element of face to face delivery. We are not therefore sure where the thousands of clients currently helped by the FIF debt advice services will be able to receive equivalent help if the FIF services close.

    The loss of FIF and the potential cuts to Legal Aid will mean that thousands of vulnerable clients will not be able to access independent, free and professional advice.

    Please note it is not only CAB’s that may be forced to close over this decision it will hit many small independent advice centers as well.

    Please write to your MP and ask them to vote against the cuts to Legal Aid and ask them to put pressure on the government to reverse the decision not to fund FIF.There are some petitions online already one was started by Bristol Debt Advice Centre at GoPetition
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    lemonjelly wrote: »
    And finally there is a petition to keep the service open: http://www.gopetition.com/petition/42339.html

    I have signed the petition
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
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