Consumer minister Jo Swinson has confirmed she is allocating £9.5 million of additional funding to the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).
The announcement was made as the minister visited a CAB site in Paisley, Scotland where she confirmed that the funding would go towards making the service a ‘one-stop shop’ for information, education and advice about general consumer matters.
Speaking on the announcement, Jo Swinson said she was committed to supporting the service whose work she said was crucial to providing consumers with fair and impartial advice.
She added: “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.”
Swinson said that the extra funding will help Citizens Advice as it takes on more responsibility as part of the changes announced by government to reshape the consumer landscape.
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.