Motion S5M-16913: Personal Debt in Scotland

12 Apr 2019

That the Parliament notes the recent publication of StepChange’s annual analysis of personal debt, Scotland in the Red, which shows that the charity’s clients had an average of £11,754 in unsecured debt in 2018; understands that over 60% of its 30,000 clients are in debt due to circumstances outwith their control, such as ill health, wage reductions, welfare payment changes or unemployment; further understands that council tax arrears, up from 36% to 46% between 2014 and 2018, are of particular concern to the charity due to the considerable increase in the number of clients affected; agrees with StepChange that local authorities in Scotland need to work with the advice sector to address the current council tax arrears dilemma, and further agrees with StepChange that earlier signposting to free debt advice is urgently required to help tackle personal debt at the earliest opportunity.