Responding to the Affordability Crisis

On Wednesday 9 March, Just. the enforcement market integrator and Arum, held an exclusive event at the House of Commons, hosted by The Baroness Meacher.

The event brought together representatives from Central and Local Government to discuss the current affordability crisis and how to ensure fair outcomes for citizens, departments, and local authorities through Crown Commercial Service's (CCS) Debt Resolution Services (DRS) framework.

Dr Jennifer Smith, Associate Professor of Economics at Warwick University, highlighted during the evening the key contributing factors to the crisis including the rise in gas prices, which has driven the average price of petrol at UK pumps up by around 50% since June last year, and will also see a predicted 20% of households in fuel stress during 2022 (defined as spending at least 10% of income on energy bills). Coupled with the rise in inflation (expected to reach a peak of 8% in autumn), people’s real income will fall in a way that is characteristic of a severe recession.

Andrew Pritchard, Arum Group CEO, commented on the event, “It’s clear that we are facing an extreme domestic crisis in the UK and it’s not only affecting those who are already financially vulnerable, but also a whole new section of society as well. Arum’s and Just’s inclusion as trusted suppliers on the DRS framework means that we can provide advisory and practitioner support and enforcement services for debt resolution, ensuring value for money for our public sector clients, and fair outcomes for citizens. We’ve helped many Central Government departments and Local Authorities over the past two decades and we look forward to working with many more.”

Arum is a supplier on Crown Commercial Service's (CCS) Debt Resolution Services (DRS) framework to provide Fraud, Error and Debt (FED) Advisory services, and Just to provide Enforcement Services and Managed Enforcement Services. The landmark DRS framework will provide access to the best solutions and suppliers from the private sector, ensuring fair outcomes for consumers and departments alike, and driving strong social value.

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2020/21 CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits equal to £2.04 billion - supporting world-class public services that offer the best value for taxpayers.