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.
01 July 2016
Yesterday the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) released the latest fuel poverty statistics. Based on 2014 data, they found 2.38m households to be fuel poor, a 1.4% increase on 2013. They reported the average fuel poverty gap of these households, the amount needed to escape fuel poverty, to be £371 per year. DECC’s policy focus is often predominately around energy efficiency, but at the sharp end where clients are choosing to 'heat or eat', energy affordability is key. Last week the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) also published their final report following a two-year investigation into the energy market. This recognised that prepayment is often not a choice for the predominately low income households that use this payment method and that they face higher levels of excessive pricing. We are pleased that the CMA acknowledged fuel poverty is experienced most severely by prepayment customers in abrupt self-disconnection and welcome the steps they have recommended to address this. However, the CMA’s remedies focus primarily around competition issues and we will continue to work with energy providers and the wider sector to ensure wider consumer welfare issues are taken into full consideration.
30 June 2016
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is conducting an investigation into the retail banking market, look particularly at the personal current account market. They have published their provisional decisions on remedies to correct the issues they’ve identified. We broadly support these remedies as positive steps, especially those concerning overdraft users, and have provided feedback to help shape these remedies to be as effective as possible.Read the full document here
24 June 2016
Remploy has just teamed up with CAP to launch a new service to help people in financial hardship.The partnership means those who find themselves struggling with debt problems will be offered the opportunity to receive free support from CAP. Michael Bishop, who is Remploy’s Strategic Engagement Director, said: 'More than a quarter of families with a disabled person are in poverty so we know that both finances and employment are huge issues. We are delighted to be partnering with CAP, which offers free, face-to-face debt help through a series of home visits, meaning that the service is particularly accessible.”
15 June 2016
Today we launch our 2015 client report. Bringing together 1,600 responses to our annual client survey, along with other CAP data, this report shows the substantial extent of debt, poverty and vulnerability amongst the clients we serve. For the first time it also features our newest service, CAP Release Groups, which offer support to those struggling with life-controlling dependencies such as smoking or gambling. This follows an 18-month pilot, which saw 28% of members achieve a self-set goal. Now in our 20th year, we have long seen the impact addictions have on those in financial difficulty, and we are thrilled to be able to offer a more complete solution to clients affected by multiple difficulties. Follow the link below to see our key findings and download the report.
Read the full document here
08 June 2016
HM Treasury is undertaking a review of public financial guidance to ensure that advice and guidance is fit for purpose and available to all. This includes pensions, debt and money advice and guidance, and follows the announcement in the Budget that the Money Advice Service (MAS) is to be replaced. CAP has responded to the review to cautiously welcome and input our views on the new proposed structure of public financial guidance provision put forward. Read the full response below. Read the full document here