Citizens Advice responds to Ofcom's latest figures on take-up of social tariffs
Responding to the Ofcom's latest figures on social tariffs take-up, Matthew Upton, Acting Executive Director of Policy and Advocacy at Citizens Advice, said:
“Internet access is an essential service. People need to be online to access everything from banking to work, education to community or vital government services. Without internet access people are cut off from society.
“But we know household budgets are under incredible pressure. If you struggle to afford the cost of broadband, lower rates are out there in the form of social tariffs. But 91% of those eligible are missing out on this crucial lifeline - leaving over £800 million in support going unclaimed. We’re at the point where it’s obvious the current approach isn’t working. The government needs to set the standard, bringing in a mandatory high-quality social tariff across broadband so people stop missing out.”
Half of the people Citizens Advice helps with debt advice are in a negative budget - where their income isn't enough to cover their essential costs. Figures from Ofcom indicate 95% of eligible households could save more than £200 a year by moving to a broadband social tariff.
Citizens Advice research shows one million people stopped using broadband in 2023 because they couldn’t afford it.
Consumers can visit the Citizens Advice website for information on how to check if you’re eligible for broadband social tariffs.
Notes to editors
- Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
- Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.
- Citizens Advice helped 2.55 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2021-22. And we had 40.6 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
- Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 18,500 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.
- You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh language speakers.