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Citizens Advice Bureaux will see first-hand the impact of universal credit

7 May 2013

Citizens Advice Bureaux will be the go-to place for help with changes to the benefit system and will gather significant evidence on just how the Government’s reforms are working out, says Citizens Advice as TUC and Child Poverty Action Group releases their report 'Will Universal Credit Work?'

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

"We support a simplified benefits system which makes it clear that work pays and provides an essential safety net but the success of universal credit will be in its implementation. We are keeping a watchful eye to make sure it truly delivers on its promises and will sound the alarm bell if CABs across the country identify problems.

"Such a radical overhaul of the benefit system will not be without teething problems and we have concerns that weekly to monthly payments, direct housing benefit payments and making payments to households rather than individuals will be a significant and in some cases unmanageable shift for families on tight budgets.

“Day in day out Citizens Advice Bureaux witness first hand the impact of benefit changes and support people to navigate new systems.  Last week Tameside CAB helped the first people ever to claim universal credit and in 2012 we dealt with 430,000 queries around the Employment and Support Allowance."

Notes to editors:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit You can also get advice online at
  4. 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
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.