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Citizens Advice responds to Autumn Budget 2017 announcements on Universal Credit

22 November 2017

Citizens Advice has today welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s changes to Universal Credit.

In his Budget statement the Chancellor announced the removal of the seven waiting days before a claimant can apply for Universal Credit; significant improvements to the advance payments system- including increasing the amount available and extending repayment periods; and changes to support people with their rent payment when moving from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit.

In September Citizens Advice charity published research which shows some people are pushed into financial difficulty as they wait for their first Universal Credit payment. The charity has helped people with over 100,000 Universal Credit issues since the benefit was introduced.

Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Gillian Guy said:

“The changes announced by the Chancellor today are a very welcome step towards fixing the problems with Universal Credit, and show the Government is acting on our evidence about the impact it’s having on people’s lives.  

“These changes should make a significant difference to the millions of people who will be claiming Universal Credit by the time it’s fully implemented. We’ll continue to keep a close eye on the roll-out of Universal Credit and make sure they do.

“The next step will be to make changes to work incentives, so that no one is left worse off under Universal Credit than they would be under previous benefits.”

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Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, 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 get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  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. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.