The aims of the Fairness Group in bringing central and local government, the debt advice sector, and the debt collection industry together are to be welcomed. What is particularly welcome is the stated desire to continue to improve how government interacts with people in debt, especially the vulnerable.
We are fully supportive of the need to apply Fairness Principles to the collection of all debts, in line with industry best-practice, since it not only reflects our own strategy of achieving a level playing field (i.e clear comparability between government and non-government debt) but will also enable the public sector to benefit from the best-practice experience and learnings of our own members. It means the customer will be treated fairly and consistently across every part of the debt collection sector. The challenge now will be whether the government will be able to put into practice its well-stated intentions, and the CSA will continue to work with other members of the Group to help government achieve a successful outcome.