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Published on 17 January 2018

Breathing space: call for evidence

LITRG has recently responded to the call for evidence from HM Treasury in connection with their 2017 manifesto commitment to implement a ‘breathing space’ scheme for those in problem debt. We highlighted the many problems that taxpayers experience when dealing with tax and tax credit debt.


The LITRG has called for:

  • A consistent approach when collecting government debt across all government departments;
  • The publication of a Code of Practice explaining the approach, and specifically covering the treatment of vulnerable debtors;
  • Clarity around what can be expected to be achieved in the breathing space period and what the next steps should be once the breathing space has ended;
  • Discretion to be available when assessing eligibility for the six-week breathing space period due to the breadth of circumstances that can give rise to indebtedness and default;
  • A breathing space period to only be available to those who are genuinely in financial difficulties and not the minority of debtors who have means to pay but choose not to.

Our submission can be found here: Breathing space: call for evidence – LITRG response

Sharron West

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