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."
Notes to editors
- The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, 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 information in England and Wales see www.citizensadvice.org.uk
- 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. For online advice and information see www.adviceguide.org.uk
- Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.9 million problems from April 2011 to March 2012. For full 2011/2012 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
- Out of 22 national charities, the Citizens Advice service is ranked by the general public as being the most helpful, approachable, professional, informative, effective / cost effective, reputable and accountable (nfpSynergy’s Brand Attributes survey, May 2010).
- Most Citizens Advice service staff are trained volunteers, working at around 3,500 service outlets across England and Wales.