PPI May Keep Government Wolf from Door Says Burgess

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People who fall into arrears with their council tax or utility bills could have faced even more financial hardship this year if Jack Straw had been allowed to go ahead with his proposals to increase court recovery fees in May.

Sara-Ann Burgess, MD Burgesses

I shudder to think what the next Government scheme will be to get more money out of cash-strapped taxpayers. More fines for motorists and increased taxes I suspect. Whilst I can only guess, I am confident that any extra revenue will be gained via stealth.

People who fall into arrears with their council tax or utility bills could have faced even more financial hardship this year if Jack Straw had been allowed to go ahead with his proposals to increase court recovery fees in May.

Although he was recently ordered by Gordon Brown to drop his plans for a 'recession tax' on those summoned to court, Payment Protection Insurance lobbyist Sara-Ann Burgess from specialist firm Burgesses, is concerned that the Government will use other unethical tactics to recoup the billions of pounds of taxpayers money spent on rescuing failed banks.

She comments: "The plan was to increase the charge on those taken to Magistrates Court for not paying their council tax from £90 to £250 (up 178%)and debtors owing creditors, such as power firms who attend court for questioning, would have to pay £70, instead of £30 - a 133% increase. Following a storm of protest this bid to raise £38million failed, but it does clearly indicate that the Government will consider targeting the most financially vulnerable to help pay its debts."

Already town halls are more aggressively chasing its debtors - last year bailiffs were used in 1.2million cases to recover debts and 2.5million households received a court summons.

Sara-Ann continues: "The only way people are going to avoid falling victim to increasing levels of debt and reduce the risk of a court summons or bailiffs on their doorstep is to recession-proof their finances via some form of payment protection insurance. It will meet a wide variety of household bills should redundancy occur and continue payments for up to a year until a new job is secured.

"I shudder to think what the next Government scheme will be to get more money out of cash-strapped taxpayers. More fines for motorists and increased taxes I suspect. Whilst I can only guess, I am confident that any extra revenue will be gained via stealth."

Although many are sceptical of paying premiums for this type of insurance, Sara-Ann explains that job losses are now commonplace and this cover is invaluable for people who don't have that financial cushion of six months worth of salary already in place to pay bills.

She concludes: "Everyone is at risk of redundancy and a premium of £17 per month will secure a monthly payment of £500 should the salary go. Over a year this equates to a £6000 payout, which if the premium was only paid for six months - so £102 - isn't a bad return. It will certainly help keep the wolf from the door - and who knows what guise that 'wolf' will take - mortgage company, utilities, local authorities etc. I'm saddened to hear the Government even considered penalising those already in debt and worry about what new levels they will stoop to. PPI at least prevents more people falling victim to their sneaky tactics."

Independent PPI provider British Insurance charges £3.40 per £100 of benefit for unemployment cover and has won numerous awards for its policies and the way it treats customers.

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Sara Ann Burgess
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