Campaigning for Change/Social Policy

The stories our clients tell us provide a unique insight into the problems faced by people in the UK. With over two million clients each year, this evidence is hard to ignore. We speak up about the policies and services that cause people problems and campaign at Local and National levels to try and change the unfair policies that we have identified.  

Find out how you can get involved in our Research and Campaigns work HERE

Citizens Advice regularly publishes policy research on issues affecting clients of our service. We use this evidence to campaign for changes in policies and services.Many of the discrimination problems dealt with by local Citizens Advice are work related. We also cover equality issues in areas such as welfare, housing and consumer.Changes in immigration and asylum legislation have caused difficulties for our clients as well.

Citizens Advice campaign successes

Over the years we have campaigned on a range of different issues in order to improve the policies and services that affect our clients. These are just a handful of the campaigns we are most proud of.

Access to Essential Services Report

Settled and Safe: A Renter's Right

Citizens Advice is running a campaign throughout 2015 and 2016 aimed at improving the private rented sector.*

In the last year Citizens Advice has advised clients on over 160,500 private rented sector issues. That's 440 enquiries every day, for people hit by issues from illegal eviction to harassment to lost deposits and struggling to secure the most basic repairs.

 

The private rental sector remains a market in which consumers are woefully under-protected. We want this to change. We don't see why renters should expect anything less than the protections consumers take for granted elsewhere - repairs that get done, systems to protect them from cowboys, refunds when things go badly wrong.

The success of the campaign was annouced in the Autumn Statement on Thursday 23 November 2016. The banning of all letting agent fees for tenants is fantastics news and we will be lobbing for the ban to come into force as soon as possible. A big thank you to those of your who have been campaigning on letting agent practices for clients over the years.

Employment and Support Allowance

What was the problem?

Sick and disabled people were being let down by Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – the benefit that is intended to support people while they are too ill for work.  Many people were facing charges for the medical evidence they needed to support their claim, enduring poor customer service and low quality decision making, and then being left without any financial support if they decided to challenge poor decisions made as a result of this process.

What happened?

Now, if an sick or disabled person needs to apply for ESA, changes to the form they fill in and the guidance provided around medical evidence should help them get the supporting information they need. The Department for Work and Pensions and a new assessment provider have committed to further training and support to improve the assessment experience and decision making, so claimants should have a better experience and more decisions should be more accurate.

Find out more about the Fit for work campaign.

Payday loans

What was the problem?

Unregulated payday loan companies were considered to not be treating their customers fairly. The payday loan industry was breaking its promise to clean up its behaviour. We called for payday lenders to be properly regulated and to stop irresponsible advertising.

What happened?

From the 1 April 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority introduced tough new rules on payday lenders. More about our payday loans campaign.

Universal credit

What was the problem?

We were concerned that low income families on universal credit were likely to see support for childcare costs decrease from a maximum of 95 per cent to 70 per cent. This would mean that most low waged parents with young children wouldn’t be better off in work.

What happened?

The Government announced it would implement one of our key recommendations to increase the support available for childcare costs from 70 per cent to 85 per cent. More about our universal credit campaign.

Bailiffs

What was the problem?

Every year, tens of thousands of people experience unacceptable and sometimes aggressive harassment at the hands of bailiffs. We campaigned for tighter regulation of the bailiff industry and to increase awareness of people's rights regarding bailiffs.

What happened?

Following our campaign the Government published new guidance for local authorities on collecting council tax arrears. This means 1.5 million residents are better protected from aggressive bailiffs and millions more could be once the Government implement mandatory training and certification for all bailiffs in April. More about our bailiffs campaign.