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Families “need job security and improved consumer markets” says Citizens Advice

29 September 2016

As the Resolution Foundation publishes a new report finding that the incomes of ‘just managing’ families are lower than they were over a decade ago, Citizens Advice says a lack of job security and failing consumer markets are adding more financial strain on working families.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Squeezed working families need job security and improved consumer markets.

“Government has rightly looked at the level of people’s earnings by introducing the living wage and raising the personal tax threshold, the next step is to address the issue of income security.

“Up to 4.5 million people are in insecure work meaning they don’t know how much pay they will get from one month to the next.  This can make it difficult to manage household budgets or plan for the future, and can lead to debt problems.

“Failing consumer markets are also adding pressure to tight family budgets costing people an average of £446 a year - equivalent to a week’s pay.  Whether it is train delays, poor broadband connection or problems with gas and electricity supplies - these issues are wasting people’s time and money.

“It is really encouraging the Prime Minister has identified struggling working families as a priority.  We help thousands of people a year who work hard but find it difficult to keep up with all of their bills and day to day costs.

“The government could consider asking companies to disclose the contractual make-up of their staff as a way of tackling income security.  Addressing issues in failing markets, including helping those who have been paying over the odds on their energy bills for a long time, will also go some way to helping squeezed families.”

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.