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Policy and Government

At CAP we don’t want to just treat the symptoms of poverty; we also want to address the causes. That’s why we’re working tirelessly behind the scenes to shape and influence the policies that affect our clients. It means we get to speak on behalf of the vulnerable to the people with the power to change their lives. And our voice is growing louder.

Industry professionals seek our opinion on current issues, and our recommendations get heard in Parliament. Change is happening. Below are some of the ways in which we are fighting for justice amongst the country’s key decision-makers.

Latest updates

Spending Review 2020

calendar25 November 2020

Today the Chancellor set out his hotly anticipated Spending Review. Once intended to be a wide ranging review of government spending in support of the levelling up agenda, today’s announcement instead centered on steadying the economy and public services through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Chancellor said his immediate priority was to protect people’s lives and livelihoods, deliver stronger public services and invest in infrastructure. This included a modest increase to the National Living Wage and pay rise worth £250 for low paid public sector workers. 

At CAP, we welcomed this support but are disappointed that the Chancellor did not do more to smooth the road ahead for those already living in poverty. People across the UK are worried about the ongoing and uncertain impact the crisis will have on their personal finances, with 5.6 million estimated to already be struggling to afford essentials. Today was a missed opportunity to shore up the incomes of families who need extra support. We are urging ministers to make the Universal Credit £20 a week uplift permanent, further extending it to those on legacy benefits. This would make a massive difference to many families, give them peace of mind going into winter and offer them a lifeline during the pandemic recovery.

HM Treasury Access to Cash call for evidence

calendar24 November 2020

CAP has responded to HM Treasury's Access to Cash call for evidence. We are please that the Government has committed to develop a realistic and effective strategy to ensure people and businesses are not left behind. However, CAP want to see more being done to help low income households reliant on cash, including protecting the availability Free To Use (FTU) ATMs and ensuring that it remains viable for businesses to accept cash. Read our full response below.

Read the full document here

New CAP briefing: Extend the lifeline

calendar17 November 2020

We entered this pandemic with a social security system that could not give families adequate support. The Government recognised this and took swift action, implementing a £20/week lifeline for those with Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits. Families in receipt of legacy benefits must be thrown the same lifeline despite facing the same circumstances. 15% of CAP clients were in this position. Nine in ten (88%) of these households are amongst the poorest 10% in the UK, often living on as little as £74.35 a week for everything except housing costs. This briefing paper sets out the need to extend the lifeline to legacy benefit claimants during the second wave, and the difference such an uplift would make.

Read the full document here

Warm Home Discount Scheme 2021/22

calendar10 November 2020

Each year the Warm Home Discount Scheme provides two million households with a £140 rebate to help pay for winter energy bills, as well as £40 million of funding for initiatives to help people living in fuel poverty. The current scheme is due to end in March 2021 and CAP has responded to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s consultation to support its extension. We’ve advocated for changes to ensure the scheme better provides funds for debt write-off and to help people facing financial crisis. This is essential maintenance, and in the longer term we need we need a more fundamental review of the scheme. More than half (55%) of CAP clients have rationed their energy at least occasionally in the last two years, with three in ten (29%) doing so weekly.1 Warm Home Discount (WHD) is an important source of support for many of the people helped by CAP who struggle to keep the heat on over winter, but does not ensure essential energy is affordable for all. 

Read the full document here

CAP responds to the FCA’s vulnerability guidance consultation

calendar30 September 2020

CAP has responded to the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) latest consultation on the Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers. This revised Guidance comes at a salient time, as many firms are facing new challenges and preparing for the anticipated increase in the number of customers in vulnerable circumstances. In general, CAP welcomes this Guidance, which is thorough and if implemented well, will help vulnerable customers experience good outcomes. Read our full response below. 

Read the full document here
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Other and previous reports:

Unlocking a new start Client Report 2019 Left destitute by debt Checking in Powerless People The Freedom Report Never just a number The case for fairshare Setting the pace Offline and shut out The poor pay more Client Report 2018 Client report 2016 Client report 2015 Client report 2014 Client report 2013

Introducing CAP's External Affairs team

Meet the team representing CAP and building relationships in the credit and debt advice industries, as well as the third sector and with the Government:

Rachel Gregory
Social Policy Manager

Kiri Saunders
Relationship Manager

Jonathan Shaw
Creditor Relationship Manager

Paul Walmsley
Energy Relationship Manager

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