Citizens Advice response to the Government announcement on face-to-face debt advice funding
Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy said:
"We warmly welcome the Government's commitment to provide an extra £27 million for face-to-face debt advice* as replacement for the Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF), due to end in March. Our FIF-funded specialist money advisers have helped over 77,000 people with debt problems over the last year, so this is good for our clients, many of whom come from the most vulnerable, financially excluded groups who are difficult to reach through other non-face-to-face means.
"The extension of funding is a clear recognition that the project was providing excellent value for money. Over the last 5 years, Citizens Advice has managed to invest a total of £87 million through FIF in advising clients with a combined total debt of approximately £1.2 billion.
"This announcement will, of course, be highly welcomed by the debt advisers themselves, who were facing redundancy, and who can now continue to help their clients with their money problems.
"Of course, Local Citizens Advice Bureaux will also be buoyed by this announcement; many were having to plan not only for the end of the Financial Inclusion Fund but also for likely cuts in their core funding from Local Authorities and Legal Aid funding from the Ministry of Justice. We therefore appreciate and support the Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable's call for other funding streams to support face-to-face debt advice.
"We wait to see the full details of the Government's proposals and will comment more fully at that time."
*These services will partly be run through Citizens Advice Bureaux but also advice agencies across England and Wales
Notes to editors:
- 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.
- 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.
- To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at adviceguide.org.uk
- 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
- 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
- Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.