maxsteam:My view is that if CAB (basically a charity) can properly handle everything that was previously being dealt with by Energy Watch and Consumer Focus (both government funded organisations) without a big hand out, then they deserve a lot of praise.
Might be a big IF
The CAB are very experienced in consumer issues and do work closely with Trading Standards and other agencies but it will come down to resources and demand - and if demand outstrips resources then quality will suffer like everywhere else under those circumstances.
As we all know there are huge cuts happening right across the board with more in the pipeline so what is the answer other than relevant training of the staff that remain.
On the debt side, one of the issues being raised by a growing number of CAB advisers is they are being required to handle many more time consuming, complex and multi issue cases on less or the same funding as before with the constant threat of funding being taken away and resultung job loss.
CABs mostly operate an open door face to face policy and also work out of outreach points such as GP Surgeries and may also conduct home visits etc providing much valued ongoing support often to the most vulnerable. There is a world of difference between advice miles away at the end of a telephone and actual ongoing face to face advice and support, with the CABs often finding themselves at the end of referrals from other agencies or when people need further help that these others agencies do not or cannot supply.
I know there are some in the CAB who believe that they need to act if they are to keep the same quality of service or indeed survive and feel that the balance has gone too far with regard to certain other 'agencies' .(in other words have their own systems and not be the lackeys and fall guys for other statistic gatherers some of which arguably have no idea what real debt advice is all about)
It is sometimes hard now to distinguish who is a genuine charity and who is not.
This post may well rattle a cage or two, but I speak from genuine experience not reading from a script in an out of touch cherry picking cosy office, tucked away somewhere in suit and tie land.
Vintage me this time perhaps, but if anyone looking in feels the need to join in the debate, please feel very free, you never know, we might all learn something.