News In Focus
Funding for debt projects announced
Funding for projects to help people with debt issues has been confirmed by the Scottish Government.
Cash funding of £4.8m from the Scottish Government and £2.2m from the Money Advice Service over the next three years will go towards a jointly funded programme, managed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board.
The money will enable the Board to extend existing projects that have supported people over the last three years in the economic downturn.
From October 2012 the Board will use the funding to establish a new programme of support for people across Scotland.
The Money Advice Service, an independent organisation giving free, unbiased money advice across the UK, will also provide £500,000 of financial support to projects run in partnership with the Improvement Service, Accountant in Bankruptcy and Money Advice Scotland.
It plans to fund capacity-building work with voluntary sector agencies to increase compliance with the Scottish National Standards for advice and supporting work, and research to arrive at a shared understanding of best practice for local authority commissioning of debt advice services, to be conducted by the Improvement Service.
Lindsay Montgomery, chief executive of the Scottish Legal Aid Board, said: “We very much welcome this substantial amount of financial support from both the Scottish Government and Money Advice Service. This will enable us not only to build upon the previous success of our existing programme in providing legal help to people facing the impacts of the downturn, but will also help to establish a new programme to improve upon the existing support for people across Scotland who require this type of legal assistance.”