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Our manifesto for the next government

27 April 2017

Citizens Advice helps millions of people find a way forward every year across communities in England and Wales.  

We use people’s experiences as evidence to try and fix the underlying cause of their problems.

As political parties develop their manifestos, we’ve set out policy solutions [ 82 kb]to some of the most common problems our clients face.

ExpandImprove how the benefits system works for the people who need it.

  1. Improve medical assessments for Personal Independence Payment and Employment Support Allowance so people get the financial support they need first time.
  2. End repeat assessments for disability benefits for people with a lifelong severe condition to avoid unnecessary stress and ensure a secure income.
  3. Reduce the 6 week wait for Universal Credit so people aren’t left without the money to make ends meet.
  4. Restore and strengthen people’s incentives to work in Universal Credit by ensuring people keep more of what they earn when their hours or pay rise.
  5. Expand the scope of Universal Support to make sure people claiming Universal Credit get the advice they need to manage their money and deal with any problems in the application process.

ExpandMake people's jobs more secure.

  1. Combine enforcement into one powerful Fair Work Authority that can tackle employers that break the rules.
  2. Require large companies to publish information on how many staff they have on  different types of contracts, to encourage employers to provide more secure jobs.
  3. Place a £50 cap on Employment Tribunal fees so that people who are treated unfairly by their employer aren’t denied access to justice.
  4. Define self-employment in law to prevent exploitative employers restricting people’s rights, including access to the minimum wage, holiday and sick pay.
  5. Give a better deal to the self employed by giving them equal parental leave to employees and extending pension auto-enrolment.

ExpandHelp people take control of their finances.

  1. Invest in frontline money and debt advice that enables people to take control of their finances. This includes giving people free money advice at key life events such as starting a pension, having a baby or buying a home.
  2. Place a cap on all types of high cost credit, following the successful payday loan cap, to make sure no one pays back more than twice what they borrow.
  3. Regulate so that bailiffs don’t increase people’s difficulties through high costs and aggressive collection practices.
  4. Ensure government debt collection practices are fair and affordable and support people in debt.
  5. Make sure people with multiple jobs are automatically enrolled into a pension so they don’t miss out on the opportunity to save for retirement.

ExpandHelp people get a better deal in consumer markets.

  1. Stop consumer loyalty being exploited in markets like energy and telecoms by protecting people on expensive standard tariffs.
  2. Strengthen protections in the private rental market by making it easier for renters to get refunds when a home is in a state of serious disrepair.
  3. Require companies to give automatic compensation for train delays and broadband outages so all people get the money they are entitled to.
  4. Protect post offices from closures so vulnerable people and those in rural areas continue to have access to post and banking services.
  5. Tighten the rules to become an energy supplier. Poorly prepared suppliers can cause major problems for their customers.

ExpandInvest in advice to support people through change and uncertainty

  1. Use fines levied against companies such as banks, energy and telecoms to help meet people’s needs for advice services.
  2. Make advice available in GP surgeries and mental health settings to help people to solve the social issues that cause and exacerbate health problems, and relieve the pressure on the NHS.
  3. Provide information, education and advice to people worried about the impact of Brexit on them and their family.
  4. Require local authorities to develop a 5 year strategy for the provision of advice in all communities.
  5. Ensure that the Social Value Act is fully taken into account in public sector commissioning to recognise the value of volunteering to individuals and communities.