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Citizens Advice response to Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

5 December 2012

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive at national charity Citizens Advice said:

"At last we have some recognition that the welfare budget has been squeezed dry. Cutting another £3.7 billion will still hit working families and families on the edge. It would have been reckless to cut more just ahead of the biggest shake up in the benefits system for over 60 years. It's vital that the government makes sure Universal Credit works for people before thinking of any more welfare cuts.

"Holding down benefit increases to 1% is better than a total freeze, which would have been disastrous for people on the lowest incomes already having to spend a higher proportion of their income on essentials when rents, food and heating bills are all rocketing.

"The government can't keep hitting the same people over and over again. Let's not forget, below inflation benefit increases will not just hit people who are out of work. It will also hurt working families in low paid jobs who have already been hit by wage freezes and cuts in working hours. People on basic benefits and looking for work already have to survive on just £10 a day, less if they're under 25. Many thousands of people already battered by the impact of the recession are on a financial cliff edge."

Citizens Advice

Notes to editors:

  1. This year the Citizens Advice service celebrates its 75th anniversary. We’ve planned a year of activity running from January to December 2014. Contact the press office on 03000 231 080, or via email at press.office@citizensadvice.org.uk, to find out more.
  2. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  3. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  4. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at www.adviceguide.org.uk
  5. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  6. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.6 million problems from April 2012 to March 2013. For full 2012/2013 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  7. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 22,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.