Cabinet Office
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Government equips staff with Debt Toolkit to help vulnerable

The Vulnerability Debt Toolkit will help public sector workers and those who are in debt to government.

  • Toolkit puts protections in place for vulnerable citizens owing money to government
  • Frontline public sector staff will be able to identify and support people facing additional challenges
  • Government can now focus resources towards those in debt who are deliberately avoiding repayment

The Government Debt Management Function has published a Vulnerability Toolkit which ensures ‘vulnerable’ citizens who are in debt to the public sector are handled with compassion and support by frontline staff.

The new guidance will be accessible to government departments and public bodies, enabling them to identify and assist people whose physical or mental health may affect their ability to repay sums owed to the Government.

It will equip employees with:

  • Training to handle disclosures of vulnerability
  • A framework for gaining more information about an individual’s circumstances
  • A protocol for supporting people in potentially dangerous situations
  • A protocol for supporting people with mental capacity limitations
  • Resources for supporting people to get out of debt through improved Money Management

Cabinet Office minister, Lord Agnew, yesterday said:

“This new guide will ensure an individual’s hardship and circumstances are factored into their cases by government bodies.

“At a time when the country continues on its path to build back better from the pandemic, it’s vitally important we don’t lose sight of the need to not leave anyone behind in the process.”

By identifying those people who have got into financial trouble due to vulnerabilities, the Toolkit will allow the government to focus on those who are deliberately trying to avoid repaying.

Reasons for debt to public sector creditors include overpayment of benefits, council tax arrears or outstanding fines.

The toolkit can be found here.


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