Consumer Minister Jo Swinson MP visited Renfrewshire CAB in Paisley today to announce the new injection of funding for the CAB service, aimed at helping bureaux replace their outdated computer equipment, and boosting their role as the ‘voice of the consumer’ in Scotland.
A total of £9.5m is being announced for the CAB service across the UK. £1.5m of that is being allocated to bureaux in Scotland.
Swinson MP and CAB Manager Kay Taylor outside the CAB today
At the visit, Jo Swinson MP said:
“The government is committed to supporting the Citizens Advice Service whose work is crucial to providing consumers with fair and impartial advice. I will be seeing this work in action in Paisley today. Offices here and around the country have worked hard to help consumers despite tough times, and that is why I am thrilled we are providing more funding.
“Citizens Advice has built up trust in communities to become a respected household name; consumers know that when they have a question or a problem they can approach their local Citizens Advice with ease. That is why the Citizens Advice Service is setting the standard as the consumer body and will take on new functions from 1 April. I am confident that these changes will boost consumer confidence and protection enormously.”
Margaret Lynch, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, was also at the Paisley event and met with the minister, along with Paisley CAB Manager Kay Taylor.
Margaret Lynch says,
“The CAB service in Scotland is in the front-line of helping people deal with the problems they face as a result of the recession and the changes to the benefits system. Here in Paisley, as across Scotland, CAB staff and volunteers are stretched more than they have ever been, and the level of demand is set to continue to rise. Our advisers need the best possible support if they are to continue the vital work that they do - not just in giving free, confidential and impartial advice to those who need it, but also in taking on these enhanced responsibilities for providing consumer information and advice.
“The funding that is being announced today will help and every penny of it is sorely needed and will be put to good use. But it must not be a one-off. Our service needs sustained investment which recognises the crucial role the CAB plays in Scotland’s communities. People need to know that the CAB service will continue to offer them the best possible support – just as we always have.”
Notes to editors - click to expand/collapse
From 1 April 2013 the Citizens Advice Service will work on consumer advocacy and education, as Consumer Focus and the OFT prepare to handover their work. This means that when consumers need someone to take forward their complaint, provide advice and information or know what their consumer rights are, they now have one place to go. This initiative is part of wider Government reforms which will give greater clarity to consumers about where they need to turn for help and advice, through clearer responsibilities and better co-ordination between consumer bodies and enforcers.