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“Government must take action to fix unacceptable problems with Universal Credit”, says Citizens Advice in response to NAO report

15 June 2018

Citizens Advice has issued a response to the National Audit Office’s (NAO) report into Universal Credit.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“It's no surprise that the NAO has confirmed Universal Credit still isn’t working for many people.

"While Universal Credit is working well for some, more than a quarter of a million people are expected to wait longer than 5 weeks for their first full payment. This puts them at risk of falling behind on bills and getting into debt - a heavy price to pay for a system that isn’t working properly.

“Since Universal Credit was first introduced, we have helped tens of thousands of people who have struggled with the new system. Many of those are finding it hard to make their claim, which can further hamper their chances of receiving their benefit on time.

“The government must take action to fix these unacceptable problems with Universal Credit, ensuring people are paid on time and that adequate support is in place. This is especially important as the pace of the rollout increases.”

Notes to editors

  1. Since April 2013, Citizens Advice has helped 120,000 people with Universal Credit issues.
  2. CItizens Advice’s policy reports on Universal Credit can be viewed here.
  3. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  4. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  5. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit
  6. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  7. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  8. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.
UAT (Release)