Citizens Advice Exeter responds to the budget

Tuesday 30th October 2018

Leading local advice charity, Citizens Advice Exeter, has responded to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s budget announcement yesterday.

Responding to the government’s announcement of a boost in funding for Universal Credit in this year’s Budget, Steve Barriball, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Exeter, said:

“Yesterday’s announcement suggests the government rightly acknowledges Universal Credit has serious problems that must be fixed. This funding will help some people who are really struggling to get by including disabled people.

“However, there are still fundamental problems with Universal Credit. Based on our evidence, we believe improvements must be made to Universal Credit before millions more people are moved onto the new benefit.

“We await further details on additional protections announced for those moving over to Universal Credit as we’re concerned some people may be left behind without enough money to live on.”

Commenting on the government announcement on debt breathing space and interest-free loans, Steve Barriball said:

“Improvements to the breathing space scheme and a proposal for an interest-free-loan scheme are welcome news from the Treasury.

“We expect this lead to be a call to action to the public and private sectors, and to regulators, to tackle the misery of debt and help more than one million people who are forced to turn to high-cost credit.

“The government should now reinforce these initiatives by overhauling its own debt collection practices, including regulating bailiffs. It should also ensure specialist debt advice is readily available for people alongside breathing space and that the Financial Conduct Authority caps the cost of rent-to-own agreements by April 2019.”