Water company United Utilities has launched a new scheme to help people drowning in debt.
Its payment-plus scheme means that customers who commit to a payment plan, for every pound they pay off towards their outstanding debt, United Utilities will pay a pound too.
After six months, the company will increase its contribution to two pounds for every pound the customer pays and after two years, any debt that remains will be written off .
It is also offering Universal Credit claimants a suspension or delay in their payments for up to eight weeks to help with the transition to the new benefit.
Louise Beardmore, customer service director at United Utilities, said: “From our point of view, if customers are struggling with water bills, they are likely to be struggling to pay most of their household bills, so this is collective challenge to see what more we could all be doing to help and support people.
“We already offer a wide range of financial assistance schemes to support our most vulnerable customers, but we are challenging ourselves to improve the scale and effectiveness of the support we offer.”
Labour MP Angela Eagle, pictured, said: “Many people across the North West are struggling to stay up to date with their bills and any additional help that can be given is important. It can make all the difference between having money to buy food or requiring help from a food bank.”
United Utilities is also hosting an affordability summit in Liverpool to discuss supporting people in debt.