DWP’s HB Debt Project combines expertise and knowledge across HMRC, DWP and local authorities (LA’s), so valuable data, information and intelligence is efficiently and effectively mined and shared, with a view to recovering record levels of HB debt (over £2bn).
Our innovative strategy has re-engaged and re-invigorated debt recovery staff to the extent their efforts have seen recovery rates soar, as those who can pay but won’t pay, are traced via the service. New welfare reform allows LA’s to ask an employer to make deductions directly from a customer's earnings via a direct earnings attachment without the need to go through the civil courts.
Recognising that obtaining employment information was difficult, DWP developed a strategy to seek direct access to HMRC employment and contact data. The intention was to make this information available to all 380 LA’s on a regular basis, meaning debtors can no longer ignore LA recovery efforts.