No complaints over “insulting” council budget advice

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Crawley Borough Council has defended the wording of a newsletter which advised tenants to budget for such things as court fines and child maintenance payments.

The winter edition of Homelink included a section called Take Control of Your Money and, among its budget advice, listed some “obvious and not so obvious items” of expenditure.

Alongside things such as rent and council tax, the council included cigarettes, Sky rental and HP agreements.

While the list was branded “insulting” in the national press, the council said it had not received a single complaint from any of the 8,500 households which received Homelink and had no intention of changing the wording of its advice.

A council spokesman said: “This is standard debt and budgeting advice from the Money Advice Trust.

“There are lots of things in the list that will not apply to many council tenants but the list helps them to prioritise the most important payments.

“Homelink has an editorial panel made up of council tenants and council officers.

“Since this issue was delivered more than a month ago the panel has met and tenants told us they found the debt and budgeting item useful.

“We’ve not had any complaints about this from tenants.”