Citizens Advice response to Ken Clarke’s announcement on funding for advice services
Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:
“As a charity that helps more than two million people every year we welcome the government’s recognition of the vital role advice agencies play in resolving problems that put people’s homes, jobs and livelihoods at risk.
“Ken Clarke deserves real praise for this extra money for free, independent advice services. It will go some way towards ensuring that vulnerable people can continue to get the advice they need.
“However, Citizens Advice remains very concerned about the legal aid bill being debated today. The problem is not just that the cuts are so deep – what’s left of civil legal aid will be inaccessible for too many people and unworkable for too many advice providers.”
“The government has at least listened to the representations that we and others have made about the importance of access to early advice. We look forward to hearing in more detail about the proposals announced by Ken Clarke.”
Last year more than 300 specialist Citizens Advice Bureau case workers – who depend on legal aid - helped solve more than 40,000 welfare benefit cases, almost 60,000 debt cases, over 9,000 housing case and 3,000 employment cases.
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.