Debt and welfare advice
Advice services play a critical role across Scotland’s communities, by helping people access financial support and benefits they may be entitled to.
Early access to advice can make a difference to people’s lives by increasing their income and preventing problems like debt from escalating.
Funding and outcomes
We are providing £12.3 million in 2023 to 2024 to support the delivery of free income maximisation, welfare, and debt advice services.
We estimate that over 100,000 people were supported by our funded advice services between April 2022 and March 2023. This support unlocked over £28 million in financial gains and secured over £16 million in debt write-offs.
Our support for advice services is funded in part by the Debt Advice Levy. This levy is applied to the financial services industry by the Financial Conduct Authority and is distributed to each of the UK devolved nations based on the proportion of adults who were indebted in the previous year.
This responsibility for the distribution of levy funding was devolved to Scottish Ministers in 2019. We publish a list of debt levy allocations made each year to the free debt advice sector.
Improving the availability of advice
We are developing a holistic model that places debt advice alongside wider advice services that aims to meet these broader commitments to improve people’s financial wellbeing. This includes a commitment to increase the availability of advice within services that people already go to such as education, health, and community settings.