I got an interesting news letter into my inbox this week, something which may be of interest to those on the verge of a house repossession or for those that are generally in debt and sorely need help and advice.
The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is about to go decidedly pear shaped, due to a large funding cut that’s being put as high as 45%. The cut will effectively put an end to a variety of CAB centres around the UK, the knock on effect being that those who need them the most may now find ourselves batting completely alone.
Back in 2010, Gov Inc. stated that they were looking at abolishing around 200 quangos (Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisation), as a means of covering some of the monies they were hoping to recoup by way of nation-wide spending cuts.
Three of the quangos that were up for wipe-out were Consumer Direct, OFT and Consumer Focus. Gov Inc decided to sit their caseloads onto the shoulders of the CAB. Presumably someone somewhere figured that the CAB were able to cope.
Oddly, Trading Standards were also roped in to take up the slack along with the CAB. In the interim, Trading Standards have found that they cannot cope with consumer need, and having prioritised, those that are deemed not important enough are simply not dealt with.
Fast forward to the poor, beleaguered CAB 2011 – who have just discovered that, despite all the guff about spending cuts not affecting front line services (etc etc) and the recent announcement that there would be 27m allocated for ‘face to face debt service’, funding’s being cut anyway.
Here’s a very recent little snippet, presumably delivered with pride (real or imagined, I guess it seemed sincere) and delivered with good intentions that does, in fact, mean absolutely nothing in the face of local governments cutting back on CAB funding:
“It’s vitally important that everyone has access to free debt advice, and I am pleased to announce that the Department for Business will provide the £27 million necessary to maintain the programme of face-to-face debt advice” – Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Feb 2011
Oh … ok.
So let’s see. Gov Inc said that they wouldn’t cut funding for front line services. But they have. Gov Inc said that they wouldn’t allow bank bosses to pay themselves bonuses that exceeded £2000. But they have.
Gov Inc said they would be abolishing around 200 quangos as a means of saving money. But they haven’t. Crikey. In debt? Facing a house repossession? Worried about the future, your career, your prospects?
So long as you don’t expect Gov Inc to actually help you, so long as you realise that lip service is all you’re ever going to get, all will be well. Not for you. Not for me. But at least those at the top, that don’t need help, that already live in a manner to which most of us don’t even have the time to dream about, will be alright Jack.
You are on your own. Don’t say no one told you.