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Citizens Advice response to Budget 2016

16 March 2016

In its response to the Budget 2016 Citizens Advice highlights how it deals with 287,000 issues around Personal Independent Payments a year and the importance of more investment in frontline money and debt advice services.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Household finances mirror the instability of the wider economy.

“Increasing the personal tax allowance threshold to £11,500 from April 2017 and helping households to save are both very positive steps. We help with 6,000 debt issues every working day and know there are many people struggling to balance the books.

“Getting effective financial guidance to people early is key to improving household finances and economic security so the commitment to invest more in frontline debt and money advice is good news. It’s crucial financial help isn’t just available at crisis points, people should be able to access it at key moments in their lives, like when they move jobs or have a baby.”

On changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP), Gillian Guy added:

“Disabled people who rely on PIP for help to get dressed or use the toilet will be worried about the impact this Budget has on their ability to live an independent life.

“People sought our help with 287,000 PIP issues in 2015 - making it the most common issue we give advice on. Many of the problems relate to how PIP is being implemented - included wrong decisions and double booking of medical assessments. It’s premature for the Government to make such a fundamental change to PIP before it’s implemented properly.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, 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 get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  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. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.