Financial advice service helps low income households save more than £6m
Free financial advice service Money Talk Team has helped low-income households save more than £6 million, the Scottish Government has revealed.
By offering one-stop, personalised advice on dealing with debt and ways to reduce household bills and expenses, the Money Talk Team has ensured families who have used the service are on average now £1,850 better off.
The service is supported by Scottish Government funding of £3.3m over two years.
Within the last nine months, the team has helped 3,198 people be better off by more than £6m. In total, nearly 8,000 people have made use of the service.
The team helps low-income families discover what financial services and support might be available to them. This is vital, as Scotland has around 450,000 cases of unclaimed benefits which could improve the lives of many who are entitled to them.
Launching a national advertising campaign to raise awareness of the Money Talk Team, communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: “The Money Talk Team is making a huge difference to the thousands of families that have already taken advantage of this free service. The friendly, experienced advisers talk callers through the options available, letting them know exactly what they are entitled to and helping them save money.”
She added: “But there are still too many families out there not getting what they should be. If you’re a parent struggling to pay the bills at the end of the month, you’re not alone. It doesn’t matter if you’re in or out of work, one call to the free phone line is all it takes to get some advice that could be a massive help to your household.”
Derek Mitchell, Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive, said: “With a footprint in every community across Scotland and 80 years of experience of delivering confidential and impartial advice, the Citizens Advice network in Scotland is uniquely placed to deliver the Money Talk Team service.”
He added: “People should be claiming what they are due. That’s how the system works; we all pay in and get support when we need it. With it being the start of a new school year, this is the perfect time for families to see if they are entitled to extra cash that could be paying for back to school essentials, or if they could be paying less for utilities or on council tax.”
The national marketing campaign will run until mid-September. It is supported by advertising, PR and social media and aims to introduce the Money Talk Team and stimulate people to call the helpline and receive free, helpful advice.
The campaign will also directly engage with the public with a national information roadshow starting from 4th September, visiting towns and cities across the country.
Money Talk Team is the new name for Financial Health Check, which started in 2018 and is delivered by Citizens Advice Scotland. It can be accessed through their free helpline on 0800 085 7145 or by visiting a local Citizens Advice Bureau.