The LGiU, in partnership with StepChange, the national debt charity, are delighted to announce The Personal Debt Summit: Living on the Edge, a free national policy conference for all LGiU members in London on 21st January 2014. Register for your free place today.
The rising cost of living, low wage growth, high levels of consumer debt and changes to welfare mean that increasing numbers of individuals are sliding into problem debt. Millions of people across the UK are struggling to deal with the burden of their personal debt with the average household debt now standing at £54, 178. 
Tackling the personal debt crisis is an increasing political priority, but there is a lack of consensus as to how we might best do this. George Osborne’s announcement today that the Government will cap the charges by payday loan companies reveals one possible step but the issue of personal debt extends far beyond just looking at high cost lenders. To build more resilient communities, we need to think about how we support individuals to cope with the changing welfare landscape, the rising cost of basic essentials and the impacts of a stagnant economy.
If we are to solve this crisis effectively, we will need a concerted effort involving a range of actors including from the financial industry, local authorities, utility companies, housing associations and the Government. This conference will bring together representatives from each of these sectors. This is the first time that councillors, officers, banks, lenders, the regulators and industry stakeholders will be in the same room to look at the future of the personal finance, and the changing nature of debt in our communities.
The conference will provide you with a unique opportunity to hear and discuss best practice and how local authorities are helping people struggling with debt. We will be looking to address the following key questions:
- How can the UK develop a greater financial capability, promote financial education and debt awareness?
- What is the impact of benefit and welfare reforms, including council tax localisation, benefit caps, the under occupancy penalty and the roll out of universal credit?
- What guidance and best practice exists for local authorities, social landlords and creditors who deal with those in debt?
- How do you tackle the root causes of debt including the regulation of high cost credit, welfare and benefit reform, low wages and poor employment practices?
The full agenda will be announced shortly. For more information, including conference pass rates for non-LGiU members, please see: http://www.debt-summit.co.uk
For all enquiries, including if you are interested in exhibiting at this conference, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
 The Money Charity (2013) Debt Statistics: http://themoneycharity.org.uk/debt-statistics/