HC Deb 13 April 1994 vol 241 cc191-2
3. Mr. Turner

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what further assessment he has made of the impact on consumer advisory services of the real-terms reduction in grant to the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux.

Mr. McLoughlin

The National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux plays an important and valuable role in its support of local citizens advice bureaux. We have more than doubled the grant in aid paid to NACAB in real terms since 1979-80, and I am confident that maintaining the grant in 1993-94 will enable it to provide continued support.

Mr. Turner

The Minister did not mention that he has cut the grant to citizens advice bureaux for the current year. Citizens advice bureaux in the west midlands, an area which he knows very well, last year received the largest number of inquiries of any region in the United Kingdom, but they will be unable to provide the same level of service to consumers in the forthcoming year. When does he intend to make good the cuts?

Mr. McLoughlin

As I have explained, there have been no cuts. However, I am glad that the hon. Gentleman referred to the west midlands, as I hope that he will join me in congratulating Conservative-controlled Wolverhampton council on increasing the grant paid to the citizens advice bureaux in his own constituency. When the Conservatives took control, they increased the grant by some 25 per cent. I am glad to hear the hon. Gentleman congratulate them on the excellent job that they are doing.