Social Policy

Our work with policymakers 

When a client contacts a Citizens Advice Bureau, the root cause of their problem is often an unfair policy, practice or piece of legislation. Just consider the tenant facing eviction because his landlord is in mortgage arrears. Or the woman who was persuaded to take out payment protection insurance on her loan, even though the terms dictated she could never claim on it now retired.

The number of clients we work with each year makes it possible to spot trends and comment with authority on the strengths and weaknesses of different policies. In fact we see it as our responsibility.


CAB evidence and how it's used

We undertake quantitative analysis of the 7 million or so problems recorded in our client database each year. We also undertake qualitative analysis of the 50,000 problems that bureaux draw our attention to specifically. Then we act. We raise the issues with those who are causing them and suggest how they could be avoided.

As well as giving a voice to our clients, our policy work ensures that new policies are based on evidence rather than assumptions, benefitting many more people than we could ever advise one-to-one. During 2009/10 alone we improved the situation of 9 million; four times as many as we advised.

Our Social policy impact report


Our policy concerns

Our latest policy publication: How to do the right thing - good practices that help consumers address and overcome periods of financial difficulty.

The starting point for our policy work is often an 'evidence report'. These reports outline the problem we have identified, illustrate it with real life client examples, and set out our recommendations for change.

Our policy work is also reactive and we frequently submit consultation responses to policy makers and regulators.

The number of clients we work with each year makes it possible to spot trends and comment with authority on the strengths and weaknesses of different policies. In fact we see it as our responsibility.