It’s been revealed that many people across Sheffield who work for the Citizen Advice debt advice service are facing service cuts and redundancy, due to an ongoing recommissioning process.
The Money & Pensions Service (MaPS) is the largest funder of face-to-face community-based debt advice in South Yorkshire, but they are currently going through a recommissioning process which will change the structure and funding of debt advice services.
It is estimated that funding for this service is due to be reduced by 50% to 60% across South Yorkshire from April 2022.
It’s very concerning to hear the many people who work for this service are facing the threat of redundancy. Throughout the pandemic they have provided a vital role to support communities, and often, those who a most vulnerable in our community, with debt advice.
At a time when many families are facing the end of furlough support and the end of the moratorium on evictions, a £20 a week cut to Universal Credit, an increase to National Insurance and rising energy costs, this valuable service is needed more than ever.
I’m supporting workers calls for a suspension of the recommissioning process for 12 months so a full impact assessment into the future demand for advice can be carried out. And I’m backing the call for no further loss of debt advisors and an increase in funding for community based face-to-face services.
I have also written to the Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey asking her to intervene and support the suspension of the process and ensure there are no further loss of advisors.
We cannot and must not remove this vital service from our communities.