Let's be honest, should we? (I'll start) ... we English love the Scots, despite the fact they don't seem to like us. Personally we in the NTI newsroom have never met a nasty one and any nation who can bathe themselves in whisky midweek, whilst celebrating a very fine poet and chatting to a sheep's stomach is very fine with us.
Sure, we compete with them a little and tug their chains, but when the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) publishes official statistics on statutory debt solutions in Scotland for the third quarter of the financial year 2022-23 we are both interested and impressed.
The AiB recorded 1,966 personal insolvencies in Scotland for Q3 2022-23. There were 101, which is 4.9 per cent fewer than in the correspomding quarter of 2021-22. Additionally, the data showed 574 Bankruptcies were awarded during quarter three of 2022-23, a decrease of 10 per cent compared to Q3 2021-22. As you know, we recorded similar unimpressive personal insolvencies in England and Wales for December - haven't any of us heard there is a cost of living crisis going on (they haven't heard about in Neil's local Indian, either - he has just moaned about the fact they told him they are fully booked for the next three weeks. What is going on?)
The headlines are as follows:
• 490 Bankruptcy awards were made following applications submitted to AiB, all through the revised fee structure; 352 (71.8 per cent) of applicants were not required to pay any fee at all
• 785 applications for moratoria granted: 46 (6.2 per cent) more than the figure of 739 granted in quarter three of 2021-2022
• 1,309 Debt Payment Programmes under the Debt Arrangement Scheme approved in Q3 2022-23, compared to 1,102 approved in Q3 2021-2022
• 440 approved Debt Payment Programmes under the Deby Arrangement Scheme were completed; a 16.1 per cent increase compared to the same quarter in 2021-2022
• 283 Debt Payment Programes revoked; 253 fewer than the figure of 536 revoked in quarter three of 2021-2022