22 November 2012
Universal Credit: AdviceUK shares Select Committee concerns about vulnerable people
DWP must provide additional resources for advice services to support vulnerable people and prevent failure
Community advice network AdviceUK welcomes the Work & Pensions Select Committee report published on Thursday 22nd November: "Universal Credit implementation: meeting the needs of vulnerable claimants".
The report echoes many of the concerns raised by AdviceUK in its submission to the Committee's inquiry.
As the report acknowledges, AdviceUK has expressed strongly concerns about the "absence of liaison between DWP and the advice sector and the lack of any advice strategy to accompany the implementation plans for Universal Credit".
Phil Jew, Head of Policy said:
"AdviceUK has consistently pointed out to DWP that failure in benefits administration accounts for at least a quarter of all preventable demand for independent advice services. The new Universal Credit system will continue to fail often vulnerable people in ways that could be prevented, especially during the transitional arrangements period. Advice services will be left to pick up the pieces but that will be harder due to reduced capacity following legal aid and local funding cuts. We urge the Government to heed the advice of the Select Committee and make adequate resources available for all advice services (not just CABx), but also to go further and involve the advice sector in system design and continual learning to prevent more failure."
For more information contact:
Phil Jew, Head of Policy & Campaigns: 07970 930085
Chilli Reid, Head of Development and Services: 07812 063312
Steve Johnson, Chief Executive: 07961 104389
AdviceUK welcomes Cabinet Office report on NFP advice services, 26 October 2012
Community advice network AdviceUK has given a cautious welcome to the Cabinet Office report Not for Profit Advice Services in England.
Chief Executive Steve Johnson said:
"We are pleased that the Government acknowledges that advice services are a vital part of our national infrastructure and wishes to support a transformation to services that deliver earlier intervention, prevention and tackle preventable systemic failure. Our pioneering work in this area is acknowledged several times in the report. We look forward to seeing details of the new fund that the Cabinet Office will announce tomorrow. It in no way replaces the £50 million plus that will be lost due to legal aid cuts alone next year and the heavy local authority funding cuts to many advice services. It will clearly present challenges for local advice services given the emphasis on partnership and collaborative bids. But at least it is focused on new client and person focused thinking - something we have been calling for for years."
December 15 2009: Turning the tide? Evidence from the free advice sector on mortgage and secured loan possession actions in England in July 2009
June 6 2009: Ministry of Justice’s Study of Legal Advice at Local Level
October 6 2008: It's the System, Stupid! Radically Rethinking Advice
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