MP learns about real-life experiences of people facing hardship on Buckingham Citizens Advice visit
MPs are 'lynchpins' who can influence change at a national level and improve hundreds of thousands of lives, says CAB chair
Buckingham MP Greg Smith heard about the real-life experiences of local people facing poverty and hardship, when he paid a visit to Buckingham Citizens Advice on Friday, October 1.
The Advertiser has recently highlighted the difficulties being faced by people locally and across the country due to the combination of soaring energy prices and the removal of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit.
Two weeks ago, Mr Smith told the Advertiser: "I am very sympathetic to those on Universal Credit wanting to keep that uplift, but as a country we simply cannot afford it. Extending the £20 increase by another 12 months – or making it permanent – would cost over £6 billion."
Following Mr Smith's visit to the Buckingham office, chair of Citizens Advice Bucks, Jane Mordue, said: “Talking with Greg Smith MP last Friday, we shared real-life experiences of clients. The fact that they usually have no savings, so nothing to cushion sudden loss of income. The increasing complexity of cases brought to us. The increasing number of clients with mental health problems – or who have just lost confidence during last year.
"He listened carefully and recognised the issues, relating what help Government has given.
"We may not agree on whether enough has been done by Government but we did certainly agree about the DVLA – it needs to improve - not being able to acquire licences is affecting people’s livelihoods."
And she added: "Working with our local MPs is critical for Citizens Advice Bucks as we advocate for those in poverty or suffering hardship. Our MPs are lynchpins in being able to influence change at a national level that will have a local impact to improve hundreds of thousands of lives across Bucks.
"Citizens Advice Bucks is rooted in supporting people locally to overcome the challenges they face, a passion we know our MPs share”.
Greg Smith said: “It was a pleasure to catch up with the team at Citizens Advice Bucks in Buckingham, alongside Cllr Warren Whyte. We had a good discussion on how we can work better together.
"A huge thank you for all CAB does to help people.”