The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ free face-to-face advice service is being stretched by the increased demand and would be able to provide support to more people through efficiencies, says a report by the National Audit Office.
Head of the National Audit Office Mr Amyas Morse says: “BIS’s project to offer face-to-face advice has done well and has helped those who have used it. But demand is outstripping capacity and the Department needs to look at ways of reaching even more people; and it must establish a coherent framework for delivering the Government’s wider strategy for tackling over-indebtedness.”
The report reveals that some people have to wait a month for an appointment with some advice agencies as record levels of personal debt hit Britons – which is now equal to roughly £56,000 for every household, or 160 per cent of annual pre-tax income.
The report comes as the Conservatives announced plans to create a free financial advice service, should they win the next general election.
The Tories put forward their proposal for a free advice service Tuesday in an economic manifesto, called A New Economic Model.
A conservative spokeswoman said: “It is about encouraging a culture where people do proactively seek financial advice.”