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Squeezed Britain: The only winners right now are loan sharks and bailiffs

13 February 2013

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, addressed an audience at the Resolution Foundation to launch a new report on Squeezed Britain. She said:

"It is very likely that the worst is yet to come. Right now Britain faces seven years of public service cuts and a low growth economy.

"Politicians need to look at the cumulative impact of multiple cuts and economic stagnation. The people Citizens Advice bureaux see every day live with low wages in unstable employment, high rent in an immobile housing market, a shrinking state safety net and an advice sector more in demand than ever.

"It only takes a small financial shock like a washing machine breaking down or a large winter fuel bill to tip many families over the edge. Citizens Advice bureaux see 8,000 new problems with debt every day and have seen a ten-fold increase in the number of people seeking support with a payday loan.

"Without a concerted effort and long-term vision from Government and employers, the only winners in the current economy will be loan sharks and bailiffs."

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 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 08454 04 05 06 or 08454 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.