Citizens Advice says concerns remain despite government’s budget boost for Universal Credit

Citizens Advice Stockport has responded to the government’s announcement of a boost in funding for Universal Credit in this year’s Budget.

Steve Hughes, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Stockport appeared on ITV Granada Reports this evening to talk about the impact of Universal Credit, especially highlighting the 5 week waiting period.

Steve Hughes, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Stockport, said:

“It seems like the government is acknowledging Universal Credit has some serious problems that must be fixed.  The extra £1 billion is welcome and will help support people who are struggling.

“We do know however, that there still are fundamental problems with Universal Credit, especially the 5 week waiting period and our data shows that even if you are paid on time, 31% of people use a foodbank, 25% of people don’t pay some or all of their rent and 49% of people borrow money from family or friends.

“If your employer said you had to wait 5 weeks to be paid, would you struggle?  Most people would – this is no different.  I will be looking out for further details on the additional protections announced today by the Chancellor.

“Universal Credit rollout in Stockport start on 21st November and we will be available to support residents who need advice and support.”

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Today’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.”

Notes to editors

Contact – press@castockport.org.uk

  1. Universal Credit rolls out across Stockport on 21st November 2018
  2. Citizens Advice Stockport is part of the Citizens Advice network.  Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  3. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers.
  4. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and postal markets. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
  5. 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.
  6. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice office in Stockport, visit www.castockport.org.uk
  7. Residents of Stockport can contact Citizens Advice Stockport on 0300 3309 075 to get information and advice.
  8. Last year the Citizens Advice service helped over 2.7 million people face to face, by phone, email or web chat. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  9. Citizens Advice Stockport’s staff are supported by more than 55 trained volunteers.