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Citizens Advice responds to Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech

5 October 2016

Citizens Advice has welcomed the Prime Minister’s focus on changes which can make a real difference to struggling households.

In her closing speech at Conservative party conference Theresa May made commitments such as protecting and enhancing employment rights, and criticised businesses which let consumers down.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“The Prime Minister is right to focus government attention on struggling workers and failing markets.

“The next step is to translate this tough talk into firm action.  We help thousands of people every day whose jobs are insecure, meaning they don’t know how much they will earn from one month to the next, or who are battling with big businesses that are providing poor services for high prices.

“The government’s commitment to making the economy work for everyone is welcome and we hope it translates to greater security for struggling households.

“Changes such as ending Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) reassessments for those with the most severe health conditions, reviewing employment rights and putting workers on boards could lead to better income security for huge numbers of people.

“And the Prime Minister is right to call out businesses who are letting down their customers - people are losing an average of £446 a year - equivalent to a week’s pay - due to failing markets such as broadband and energy. The next step is to turn this talk into action.  

“There are a number of options available to government to help squeezed families with their energy bills including guaranteeing loyal customers a cheaper deal, extending the prepayment cap to vulnerable consumers on credit meters and looking at the gap between the cost of a standard variable tariff and the lowest priced deal.  

“People have been paying over the odds for their gas and electricity for too long so it is important that action from the government means people can benefit from a fairer energy market as soon as possible.”

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.