“Too many people being let down”, says Citizens Advice Exeter

Leading local advice charity Citizens Advice Exeter, has today released its annual advice trend statistics for the year ending 31st March 2018.

The charity has helped 10306 people directly with advice and information last year. The overall advice trends, compared to the previous year, were as follows:

Welfare benefits

Overall, the charity saw a 13.5% increase in welfare benefit enquiries. The main changes being:

  • 90.0% increase about support with council tax
  • 24.2% increase about employment and support allowance
  • 23.1% increase about housing benefit
  • 16.3% increase about disability benefits (PIP/DLA)

They also dealt with 158 enquiries about Universal Credit.


Overall, the charity saw a 7.2% increase in employment enquiries. The main changes being:

  • 40.0% increase about employment tribunals and appeals
  • 26.0% increase about pay and entitlements
  • 28.3% reduction about terms and conditions


Overall, the charity a 2.1% increase in housing enquiries. The main changes being:

  • 15.3% increase about local authority property
  • 12.8% increase about housing association property
  • 7.5% increase about owner occupier property


Overall, the charity saw a 0.2% increase in debt enquiries. The main changes being:

  • 29.6% increase about debt relief orders and bankruptcy
  • 14.3% increase about fuel debts
  • 7.2% increase about council tax arrears

Chief Executive Steve Barriball said: “Underlying these numbers and figures are people and families. People who are let down when they need financial support with the costs of their illness or disability; people who are let down at work because of insecure employment or income. People who are let down by a lack of affordable, good quality, housing; and people who despite their best efforts are struggling to make ends meet and having to rely on high-cost consumer credit. “

Steve continued: “The Government really needs to get to grips with these fundamental issues which are preventing some of the most vulnerable in our society from having the security that many take for granted. Without financial or employment security, it is a real challenge for those trying to access affordable and secure housing.”

 Steve finished by saying: “Our commitment is always to provide the advice people need for the problems they face. However, we can only continue to do this if we have the necessary resources and we need to increase public and business donations. Anyone wishing to support our work can donate on-line by going to the Support Us section of our website (www.citizensadviceexeter.org.uk)”

Alternatively, donations can be made in person at the charity’s offices on Dix’s Field in Exeter.