A further two amendments that I put forward today (3 March 2021) during committee stage of the Financial Services Bill deal with both the timetable and funding of Statutory Debt Repayment Plan (SDRP) arrangements.

The Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018 created the Debt Respite Scheme – a welcome piece of legislation that will bring much needed support and protection to people seeking advice about problem debts. The Debt Respite Scheme includes the Statutory Debt Repayment Plan (SDRP), which is addressed today in Clause 32 of this Financial Services Bill.

The SDRP scheme introduces a new statutory debt solution in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focussed on debt repayment rather than insolvency. By introducing statutory protections for people on a plan to repay their debts, the SDRP will give people a much-needed route to recovery from the harm of spiralling debt problems.

My two amendments on this are intended to probe the Government on the timetable for the implementation of the scheme and to gain greater clarity of various funding matters concerned with the operation of it.

Both amendments in full:

Page 40, line 37, at end insert—

“(6) The Secretary of State must publish a timetable for the establishment of the debt respite scheme.

(7) The debt respite scheme must start to take on clients no later than 31 December 2024.”

Amendment 68, Committee Stage Day 4, Financial Services Bill, House of Lords 3 March 2021

Page 40, line 37, at end insert—

“(6) Within six months of the passing of this Act, the Secretary of State must launch a consultation on funding for providers of debt advice to individuals in the debt respite scheme, including non-profit providers, leading to publication of a report on a long-term strategy for such funding.”

Amendment 69, Committee Stage Day 4, Financial Services Bill, House of Lords 3 March 2021

I hope the Government accept the principles set out in these two amendments.

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