Redundancy fears boost Citizens Advice Bureau helpline calls

Redundancy-related calls to the Citizens Advice Bureau helpline increased dramatically in the first three months of the year.

It reported today that the number of people calling its helpline about redundancy grew by 114% in a year, from 38,745 calls in 2007-08, to 83,024 new enquiries in 2008-09.

The service advised on 1.93 million new debt problems in 2008, an increase of 11% on the previous year, and saw a 61% increase in enquiries about Job Seeker’s Allowance, from 68,052 to 109,407 in the same period, figures showed.

Chief executive David Harker said: “These new figures show the human impact of the recession. In particular, we are seeing an enormous rise in the number of people turning to us because they have lost their job.”

An additional £10m of funding, announced in the Pre-Budget Report, will allow the Citizens Advice Bureau to extend branches’ opening hours to meet the growing demand for advice.

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