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Information for electors voting in the General Election 2024.

A UK parliamentary election has been called for 4 July 2024. Register to vote by midnight on 18 June 2024: GOV.UK: Register to vote. (opens new window) You can also vote by post: GOV.UK: apply to vote by post (opens new window). The deadline to apply is 5pm on 19 June 2024 or apply to vote by proxy by 5pm on 26 June 2024: GOV.UK: Apply to vote by proxy (opens new window)

 

Overseas electors may consider applying to vote by proxy. For more information see the General Election 2024 page.

Money advice

Information and support for increasing income, reducing costs and dealing with debts.

If you have a number of debts or cannot afford to make payments we suggest using an advice agency. Their staff can help you negotiate with multiple creditors and deal with high levels of interest. They can also advise on debt solutions which may see some or all of your debts written off. Go to Advice agencies.

First steps

  1. Paperwork - Get all bills, demands, court orders etc. together.
  2. Budget plan - Work out your weekly or monthly income and outgoings. Download our simple budget plan (Excel doc) [19KB] (opens new window) or take a look at free online budget plans available from Advice agencies. Update your budget plan as your finances change.
  3. Unpaid bills - List ;all unpaid bills, skipped payments and rent or mortgage arrears. Work out how much is owed to each person or organisation. Check whether interest is being charged on the debt.

What next?

  1. Check your budget plan - does your income cover your expenditure? If so, any surplus income can go towards your debts.
  2. Can you cut costs?
  • shop around for cheaper deals on expenses such as food, phone, utilities and broadband
  • see if you could cut any non-essential expenditure
  • avoid large bills by using direct debits to spread payments over the year
  1. Could you increase your income?
    Could you increase your income by working extra hours? Are there grown up children at home who could help with bills? Do you qualify for benefits or other help? See Increasing your income.
  2. Professional help
    If you feel you need professional help at this point go to Advice agencies.

Increase your income

Could you find extra work?

This may affect means tested benefits so check any benefit conditions. You can do this at GOV.UK: Benefits advice (opens new window).

Consider taking in a lodger

This means sharing your home and doesn't suit everyone. It could affect benefits or insurance. You may need permission from the landlord or mortgage company. There is more information on taking in a lodger here Citizens Advice: Subletting and lodging (opens new window).

Claim benefits

  • Check whether you can claim any benefits. The government website has details of what benefits to claim, how to claim them and what happens if you start work. Go to GOV.UK: Benefits advice (opens new window).
  • Local welfare provision may provide help in a crisis or with household goods if you are moving into the community. For more information go to Local welfare provision.
  • Discretionary housing payments (DHPs) may help with housing costs. You can apply for these if you receive housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit, and the benefit does not cover your rent. DHPs can sometimes cover other costs too. Payments are limited. For more information go to extra help with rent.
  • Council tax reductions may be available. For more information go to Council tax reduction.

Practical help

Food banks in Wiltshire

Community food providers including food banks and community fridges are available throughout Wiltshire. To find your nearest one visit our Interactive Community Directory - find out where local warm spaces and community food providers are in the county

Acorn Community Bank

Acorn Community Bank helps people to get on top of their finances by encouraging them to save when they can and making low cost loans. They also offer money advice courses.
Website: Acorn Community Bank (opens new window)
Call 01722 421 881

British Legion

The British Legion helps members of the British Army Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families. The Legion can advise on managing money, benefits, housing, finding a job and more.
Website: British Legion (opens new window)
Call 0808 802 8080 - lines are open from 8am to 8pm daily.

Soldiers, Sailors, Air force and Families Association (SSAFA)

SSAFA supports people who have served in the Armed Forces (British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Royal Marines, including Reserves), or are the immediate family of someone who served. It can help with a rage of problems including dealing with debts, claiming benefits, housing and mobility aids.
Website: SSAFA (opens new window)
Call 0800 220 6767

Dealing with debts

If you have a number of debts or cannot afford to make payments we recommend using an advice agency. Their staff can help you negotiate with multiple creditors and deal with high levels of interest. They can also advise on debt solutions which may see some or all of your debts written off. Go to Advice agencies.

Consider putting aside any spare income on a weekly or monthly basis and use it to pay off debts in small regular instalments. There are four steps to follow:

  1. Work out how much you can offer each creditor on a regular basis.
  2. Offer to pay each debt through your regular payment + a small additional amount. You may have to negotiate on this and show your budget plan.
  3. Deal with priority debts first - these are rent and mortgage arrears, heat, lighting, council tax, magistrates court fines, maintenance and TV license. They are called priority debts because there could be serious consequences for non-payment such as losing your home because of rent arrears.
  4. Deal with other debts after. If any interest is being charged ask for it to be frozen.

Advice agencies

These agencies are established organisations that offer free, confidential advice and support.

Please take care when accessing other agencies found online or elsewhere as fraudsters operate in this field.

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