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Citizens Advice says Universal Credit announcement 'encouraging' but 'must go further'

11 January 2019

Citizens Advice has commented on proposed changes to be made to Universal Credit, which have been announced by Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd MP.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“It’s encouraging to see the Secretary of State taking a fresh look at the welfare system. 

“Universal Credit has to work in practice as well as in theory. We welcome any move to make it a more flexible system that can be adapted to suit the way people live their lives. 

“But to really get to grips with the problems of Universal Credit, the government will need to go further. This means investing more in the benefit so people have enough to live on and don’t have to wait 5 weeks for a first payment, while also making sure it is paid in a way that works for people's individual circumstances. 

“Universal Credit must work for everyone, which is why we’ll continue to monitor its impact on the people who come to us for help.”

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  2. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
  3. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
  4. Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
  5. Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  6. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit
  7. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 to talk in Welsh.
  8. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  9. Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.