Citizens Advice is committed to providing free, confidential and independent face-to-face advice to people seeking our help across the country. A recent article in the Gazette incorrectly stated that CA was looking at charging for advice and that the national charity had been running a pilot doing this since 2013.
It referred to a project being run by a local CA branch in Gateshead to give legal advice on employment issues following the removal of legal aid. While we are working with the bureau to monitor the pilot, CA is not looking at a national programme to charge for advice.
Each year CA provides free face-to-face help to more than 2 million people from over 3,000 locations with the help of 22,000 volunteers. We know how crucial the right advice at the right time can be.
The CA service solves the problems of two in three of the people who seek our help. It is crucial that both national and local government recognise the value of free advice. This is why we want a national strategy to ensure free face-to-face advice is available to all and people can get this support when they are affected by major policy changes.
Sue Wigley, director of operations, Citizens Advice