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Citizens Advice responds to the Budget 2024

6 March 2024

Responding to the Chancellor's Budget on March 6th 2024, Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: 

“Today the Chancellor supported people in the most dire situations by abolishing fees for Debt Relief Orders. These unaffordable fees have priced people out of getting the support they need as 9 in 10 people with a DRO struggled to pay the upfront cost. The Chancellor’s action is very welcome and will mean more people can find a way out of debt.

“But we’re expecting this year to be just as tough, if not worse, than the last 18 months for many. Millions of households are living on empty and simply can’t afford to heat their homes or put food on the table.

“While it’s also welcome that the Household Support Fund has been extended by six months, this is only a temporary fix. We need to see a longer-term commitment to ensure this vital fund doesn't abruptly dry up in the future.”

Additional information 

  • Citizens Advice supported 16,997 people between 01/01/2021 and 31/12/2021 and 78,083 people between 01/01/2023 and 31/12/2023 with localised social welfare issues - an increase of 359%.

  • Frontline staff have helped more than 46,600 people with the Household Support Fund since April 2023 (the current funding cycle). Of those helped 43% also needed access to charitable support and 36% to food banks.

  • A debt relief order (DRO) is an alternative to bankruptcy for people with low incomes, little or no assets, and low debts. There are strict qualifying criteria and they’re only available to people with less than £75 spare income left per month. The cost to enter a DRO is £90.

Notes to editors

  1. Priced out of debt relief (2023) report can be found here.
  2. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  3. Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.
  4. Citizens Advice helped 2.66 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2022-23. And we had 60.6 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  5. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 16,000 trained volunteers, working at over 1,600 service outlets across England and Wales.
  6. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh language speakers.