By Democrat reporter
Statistics out today have revealed an increase of 16.5 per cent in the number of Debt Payment Programmes accepted under the Debt Arrangement Scheme between January and August this year compared to the same period last year.
Scottish Labour Deputy Leader and Finance Spokesperson Jackie Baillie MSP said: “The significant rise in the number of approved Debt Payment Programmes demonstrates the disastrous impact that the effects of the pandemic are having on household finances.
“With the Scottish Government failing to impose a moratorium on fees and interest payments accrued on top of debt, before repayment arrangements are agreed, we risk seeing a situation in which household debt continues to build.
“With a tidal wave of job losses set to sweep Scotland due to the end of the furlough scheme, it is more vital than ever that the Scottish Government thinks twice about its refusal to freeze fees and interest payments accrued on top of household debt.
“We cannot allow families and individuals to be weighed down by the burden of personal debt. The Scottish Government must act swiftly to provide those in debt with the breathing space that they need and deserve.”
There were 2,130 approved Debt Payment Programmes under Debt Arrangement Scheme in the year to the end of August 2020 compared with 1,829 for the same period the year before, an increase of 16.5%.
While today’s statistics have not revealed an increase in the number of bankruptcies, Ms Baillie contends that the report is clear that it is not correct to interpret these as the number of individuals with problem debts being low.