HC Deb 19 April 2004 vol 420 c287W
Mr. Beggs

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to address the dangers of increasing personal debt in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. [165779]

Mr. Gardiner

The Consumer Strategy for Northern Ireland was published in March 2002. As a result, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment commissioned research into the provision of a suitable framework for the delivery of effective debt/money advice in Northern Ireland. This is now being taken forward within the context of the Department for Social Development's proposed new Information and Advice Strategy which is scheduled to be published for consultation in May 2004.

The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister is currently representing Northern Ireland on a UK cross-departmental officials' group on over-indebtedness. The findings of this group may also impact on the money advice initiative in Northern Ireland.

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