Citizens Advice Consumer Work Plan 2021/22
Since we produced our last annual workplan the world has changed beyond recognition. A global pandemic has caused over 2.5 million deaths, more than 120,000 of them in the UK. More than simply a health crisis, the impact on people’s livelihoods and wellbeing has been stark. More than three quarters of a million people have lost jobs, and the number of people claiming benefits because they are out of work or on a low income has more than doubled. Every aspect of our lives has been touched, from mental health to social mobility.
It has been heartening to see the speed at which Citizens Advice locally and nationally have reacted to this crisis so we can continue to help people find a way forward. That is more important than ever. We have also seen rapid moves from the government and some parts of the private sector to support people through this crisis. But further help will be needed.
We cover four main themes in this workplan:
Making markets work for consumers - speaking out on behalf of consumers where there are market failures
A fair deal for consumers in vulnerable circumstances - guaranteeing that those most likely to suffer harm can easily access good value essential products and services
Protecting consumers in rapidly evolving markets - maximising the opportunities presented by innovation to change and improve the way that markets serve consumers
Better value infrastructure - making sure investment is well managed to deliver value for money and good consumer outcomes
These themes stand as guiding principles for our advocacy work for the coming year. We also recognise that in such a fast-changing situation, our work will need to be agile and adaptive. This is the reality of a situation where policy decisions that would have been the subject of months of debate must now be made in days.
Advice and advocacy must also adapt to meet the needs of consumers today. Over the next year, we will stay focused on achieving an impact for consumers in extraordinary times
Executive Director of Advice and Advocacy