Jon Trickett, MP for Hemsworth:
“I am opposed to the proposed cuts in funding for community-based face-to-face debt advice in West Yorkshire and the Humber. This comes at the most nonsensical time when personal debt is rising and many people are struggling as a result of cuts to Universal Credit and the end of the furlough scheme.
“I call for the recommissioning process to be suspended to allow time for independent advice into future demand for advice in our area. In addition, I am concerned about the Debt Advice Peer Assessment process, which has been criticised for forcing advisors to spend too much time on bureaucratic tasks when their time is better spent supporting clients. No debt advisor jobs should be lost and there should be proper consultation with the workers trade unions about any proposed changes.“
Karl Turner, MP for Hull East:
“Working closely with organisations like Citizens Advice, I see on a daily basis just how valuable the service provided by debt advisers is. East Hull, our city, and wider region are just beginning to recover from the hammer-blow of Covid-19 whilst dealing with the Government’s decision to hike national insurance, slash Universal Credit, and allow energy bills to rise – the prospect of reduced services and adviser redundancies is catastrophically timed
“Just as with the current struggle to access face-to-face GP appointments, sometimes there can be no replacement for in-person services, and the need for urgent advice regarding complex debt challenges can be just the same. I stand shoulder to shoulder with Unite members fighting for this crucial service and their vital work in our community.”
Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley:
“It’s very concerning to hear the many people who work for the Citizens Advice debt advice service are facing service cuts and redundancy, due to an ongoing recommissioning process. Throughout the pandemic they have provided a vital role to support communities, and often, those who are most vulnerable in our community, with debt advice.
“At a time when many families are facing the end of furlough support and the end of the moratorium on evictions, a £20 a week cut to Universal Credit, an increase to National Insurance and rising energy costs, this valuable service is needed more than ever.
“I’m supporting workers’ calls for a suspension of the recommissioning process for 12 months so a full impact assessment into the future demand for advice can be carried out. And I’m backing the call for no further loss of debt advisors and an increase in funding for community based face-to-face services.
“We cannot and must not remove this vital service from our communities.”
Kim Leadbeater, MP for Batley & Spen:
“Having worked closely with the voluntary sector in Batley and Spen, first through my work with the Jo Cox Foundation and now as the MP for the area, I know just how important the work of Citizens Advice and other providers can be for some of the most vulnerable members of the community.
“The threat of service cuts and redundancies could not come at a worse time, with household bills rising dramatically, taxes going up and Universal Credit reduced. People rely on face-to-face advice and no amount of on-line support can substitute for that personal contact. Whether it’s dealing with mental health issues, homelessness, addiction, domestic abuse and so much else, Unite members are standing up for those in greatest need and I fully support their campaign to resist any threat to the continuation of such valuable work.”
Diana Johnson, MP for Hull North:
“With many of my Hull North constituents facing the prospect of increased debt, with soaring energy and household bills and the post-COVID withdrawal of the £20 Universal Credit uplift and furlough support, the need for readily accessible debt advice services is more acute than I have ever known it in my 16 years as an MP.
“Citizen’s Advice has been a key and valued provider of these services in Hull and the idea that any services will be cut by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) is one that I join Unite members in opposing. If MaPs are having funding increased from £51m to £77m for debt advice, in any modernising of the service it should be possible to cater for those who, for various reasons, need a face-to face service. Not everyone’s needs can be met by telephone or online services.”