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Food vouchers aren't a replacement for crisis loans, they're a sticking plaster

27 March 2013

Responding to the news that from April most councils will offer vulnerable people food vouchers in lieu of money to tide them over short-term financial crises, Gillian Guy, Chief Executive at national charity Citizens Advice said:

"Food vouchers aren't a replacement for crisis loans, they're a sticking plaster.  On their own, food vouchers will provide help with buying food but won't provide adequate relief for vulnerable people facing sudden emergencies, like having no money to heat their home or fleeing domestic violence.

"From April, reduced budgets mean, councils will have to meet increasing demands from people needing cash loans for basic necessities like footwear or fridges.

"With councils having to devise and deliver new support criteria, Citizens Advice is concerned that the vulnerable could become the victims of a bureaucratic nightmare and will be monitoring the impact on clients who contact us for advice."

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.