Citizens Advice redundancies shelved after government cash boost

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills commits £27m to debt advice services

Citizens Advice Bureau
Citizens Advice Bureau

Citizens Advice has set aside plans to make staff redundant following a commitment by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to provide £27m for debt advice services.

Nine hundred Citizens Advice staff working on debt advice were given redundancy notices last month because the Treasury was unable to confirm that it would continue funding the Financial Inclusion Fund. It had provided £87m over the past five years, of which about two thirds went to Citizens Advice and the rest to to other advice services.

But the business department has agreed to provide £27m so the programme can be extended for another year. A spokesman for Citizens Advice said it had not yet been decided what share it would get, but the sum was likely to be enough to keep existing staff and to continue running the programme in its current form. The redundancy notices were likely to be withdrawn, he said.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "We warmly welcome the government’s commitment to provide an extra £27m for face-to-face debt advice. The extension of funding is a clear recognition that the project was providing excellent value for money."

A spokesman for the business department said: "The funding will secure the future of the face-to-face debt advice programme for 2011/12 and will ensure debt advice can continue to be provided by the Citizens Advice bureaux and other independent advice agencies across England and Wales."

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