Friday, 4 February 2011

Citizens’ Advice Bureau centres across the country are under threat from closure due to massive cuts in their budget.

In particular five CAB’s in Birmingham are faced with immediate closure as the council, which provides £600,000 per year has decided to stop funding its service. The government’s idea of ‘Big Society’ appears to be very different to that of the Community and Voluntary sector.

The Citizens Advice service is one of the largest volunteer organisations in the UK with over 20,000 volunteers. The majority of these are part time volunteer advisers. To cut funding further when historically CAB’s have been on the brunt of cuts before, is an affront to a decent society and yet another example of the brutal nature of these cuts.
All bureaux try to ensure their services are accessible to all sections of the community, so that provision can be made for the housebound, immigrant communities, rural inhabitants, elderly and disabled as appropriate.
The government has claimed that the way cuts are made is up to the councils, yet the amount of money they are asking to cut from their budget means unreasonable demands are being made. Washing their hands of it is typical, and unfair. Most cuts could be avoided if the government chose to ensure big corporations paid their due in tax or a levy against the banks that threw us into this mess in the first place was given back. The public bailout of RBS and Lloyds TSB cost the tax payer £1.5 trillion. In addition, the cuts that are being made are taking place too quickly and without thought.

Wise Owls are going to monitor and highlight the attacks the government are making on the vital services that affect the every day life of people who rely on those services.

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