Funding news

£27m confirmed for debt advice services - 15 February 2011

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has confirmed funding to extend the Citizens Advice Financial Inclusion Fund for another year.

900 Citizens Advice staff working on debt advice were given redundancy notices last month because the Treasury was unable to confirm that it would continue funding the Financial Inclusion Fund. It had provided £87m over the past five years, of which about two thirds went to Citizens Advice and the rest to to other advice services.

BIS has now agreed to provide £27 million so that the programme can be extended for another year. A spokesman for Citizens Advice said it had not yet been decided what share it would get, but the sum was likely to be enough to keep existing staff and to continue running the programme in its current form.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: 'We warmly welcome the government’s commitment to provide an extra £27m for face-to-face debt advice. The extension of funding is a clear recognition that the project was providing excellent value for money.'

A BIS spokesman said: "The funding will secure the future of the face-to-face debt advice programme for 2011/12 and will ensure debt advice can continue to be provided by the Citizens Advice bureaux and other independent advice agencies across England and Wales."

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