10th October 2018 by Kayley Hignell Head of Policy (Families, Welfare and Work) at Citizens Advice
Political parties, think tanks and charities continue to debate the future of Universal Credit. Despite the proposed solutions often being radically different, there's a fairly broad consensus that more changes need to be made.
Once the rollout is complete, 7 million households will receive the new benefit. It has to work for everyone. Our evidence shows significant challenges remain - and we've helped 150,000 people with Universal Credit since its creation.
19th September 2018 by Thomas Brooks Principal Policy Manager at Citizens Advice working on post offices
It's been just 11 years since the first iPhone was launched, and in that time smartphones have moved from luxury products to essential items. Twice as many people now say their mobile is the most important device for accessing the internet, compared to their laptop.
As technology has changed, so has the way we pay for our phones. Most of us now have mobile phone contracts that include the cost of the handset too. This model - high-value hardware bundled with a service contract -is almost unique across all consumer markets.
7th September 2018 by Ed McDonagh Policy Researcher at Citizens Advice
New research by the National Audit Office (NAO) shows problem debt costs the UK economy £900 million a year.
Problem debt includes consumer credit and household bill debts. Household debts include rent and council tax arrears and energy bills.
A complaint about a faulty product or service should never carry the risk of retaliation, especially when retaliation could mean losing the roof over your head.
In the private rented sector, the stakes are high so people need protection from retaliation. But as we've shown before, people who privately rent often have the weakest rights.
22nd August 2018 by Jamie Matthews Senior Policy Officer, Wales
Our data shows 49% of all clients we see in Wales have a long-term health condition or disability. The most common of these is problems with mental health.
Having mental health problems can make it difficult for people to manage other practical issues in their lives, such as money, debt, housing, immigration and employment.
16th August 2018 by Tom Gower Policy researcher at Citizens Advice
Society is changing fast. If you looked at the typical British household 50 years ago, you'd expect to find a man and woman living together as a married couple.
Today, family structures are much more diverse.
15th August 2018 by Cara Holmes Senior Policy Researcher, Citizens Advice
Today, after a 6 month investigation, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that Amazon Prime's next-day delivery claims are misleading. While the ASA found that Amazon delivers the majority of items by the predicted delivery date, this is often later than people would reasonably expect.
The ASA has said that people who subscribe to Amazon Prime could reasonably expect all Prime-labelled items to be available for next-day delivery. As this isn't the case for a significant number of items, Amazon's promotion of the Prime service as offering unlimited next-day delivery was seen to be misleading for shoppers.
10th August 2018 by Victoria MacGregor Director of Energy at Citizens Advice
This morning, I spoke to BBC Breakfast about our call for the government to extend the smart meter rollout deadline by 3 years, to 2023.
Smart meters -a new type of energy meter -have a huge part to play in modernising Great Britain's energy infrastructure. And they'll bring a raft of positive changes to consumers compared to the current old-style meters, including:
The facts are clear - loyal consumers are overpaying by almost £1,000 a year for essential services like broadband and energy.
It's the people who can least afford it who are more often paying the price: those on lower incomes, older people, and people with mental health conditions. These points aren't contentious - most regulators now accept that the loyalty penalty hits the most vulnerable the hardest, and the government is catching up too.
Universal Credit has been back in the news over the past couple of weeks, after the National Audit Office highlighted a number of delivery challenges with the system.
These challenges were inevitable - Universal Credit is the biggest change ever to the welfare system and affects around 7 million people. The real test for the government is whether they're willing and able to act on emerging evidence, and make the necessary improvements so it works for everyone.
At 9pm tonight*, BBC1 will show a docudrama about the life of Jerome Rogers.
The film demonstrates the terrible effects escalating debts and aggressive debt collection by bailiffs can have on people's mental health. These practices led Jerome, aged 20, to take his own life.
5th July 2018 by Mette Isaksen Policy Researcher at Citizens Advice
The latest research from Citizens Advice shows 65% of mental health practitioners are seeing more clients with practical problems. This could be anything from facing eviction or redundancy, to caring for a relative with cancer.
These problems are a part of everyday life -but they can lead to people feeling stuck, depressed or anxious. For some, mental health problems mean they're unable to manage practical issues alone.
13th April 2018 by Frank Hobson Welfare policy at Citizens Advice
Public debate about welfare is often focused on people who are not working. When we talk about Universal Credit, this perception needs to shift. By the time it's fully rolled out in 2022, more than half of people claiming it will be in work.
This is a huge change for working families. Our new research explores the reasons why 2.1 million of them are likely to be worse off than under the old system. We also show how a benefit designed before the rise of non-traditional employment could now disadvantage those groups.
Around 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem this year. Many of them will be working full time.
Last year, our research found 1 in 3 people with a long-term mental health condition experienced difficulties with their employment as a result - from making it into work and deteriorating relationships with colleagues to needing reduced hours.