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Publications

  1. Consultation by the Social Security Advisory Committee
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    October 2014

    CAS commented on a proposal to introduce seven benefit 'waiting days' for new Universal Credit claimants. This follows a recent increase in the number of waiting days from three to seven for JSA and ESA. We drew the SSAC's attention to a number of potential issues, including possible equalities impacts, the impact on housing and rent arrears, on other benefits and on in-work claimants on zero hours contracts.

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  2. Unfair Charges for Parking on Private Land: A Report by Citizens Advice Scotland
    Fraser Sutherland
    Publication date:
    October 2014

    Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland have been inundated in the last year with complaints regarding over-zealous parking charges - they are not fines - being handed out by the private parking industry in Scotland.

    This has resulted in demand at the Citizens Advice service in Scotland reaching an unprecedented level – a 50% increase in cases regarding parking this year compared to last. This is an issue that affects everyone, but we are especially worried by cases brought to us by vulnerable Scots including those who are disabled and elderly caught out by poor signage and unfair appeals processes.

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  3. House of Commons Public Bill Committee
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    October 2014

    The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill proposes changes on three specific issues of concern to CAS – the misuse of zero hours contracts, the non-payment of Employment Tribunal awards, and workers being paid less than the National Minimum Wage.

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  4. Sarah Beattie-Smith
    Publication date:
    October 2014

     

    CAS has responded to the EU’s consultation on EU drinking water policy. The consultation was launched in response to the European Citizens’ Initiative “Right2Water”. This is the first ever, successful participatory democracy instrument at EU level, and focuses on improving the supply of safe, good quality drinking water across the EU.

     

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  5. Sarah Beattie-Smith
    Publication date:
    October 2014

    CAS welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Scottish Water (Objectives: 2015-21) Directions 2014 and Principles of Charging. As the representative body for water consumers in Scotland, CAS is strongly of the view that ‘affordability’ should remain a principle of charging to provide a commitment to work towards water and sewerage charges that are affordable for all consumers.

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  6. Delays and assessments
    Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    October 2014

    Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a crucial benefit for many sick and disabled people. It is designed to help with the extra costs of being sick or having a disability, such as additional heating, additional travel costs, special diets, or specialist equipment. Its predecessor, Disability Living Allowance (DLA), has often been a mainstay for some of the most vulnerable clients attending citizens advice bureaux (CAB), particularly when there have been administrative problems with income-replacement benefits.

    Scottish bureaux have been supporting clients to claim PIP since the benefit was first introduced in Scotland in June 2013. Since January 2014, the process of PIP reassessment was rolled out to a large swathe of Scotland, amounting to around half of the DLA caseload in Scotland. CAS carried out a survey of bureau advisers in August 20141 to find out the experiences of those making applications for Personal Independent Payment.  This report looks at the feedback from bureaux, clients and advisers.

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  7. Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    September 2014

    CAS responded to the Low Pay Commission's consultation on what future rates of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) should be set at. Based on bureau evidence showing that workers earning the National Minimum Wage are increasingly struggling to afford essentials, CAS recommends the purpose of the NMW should increasingly focus on tackling low pay and in-work poverty, together with a proactive approach to targeting employers who do not pay their staff the National Minimum Wage.

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  8. Citizens Advice Scotland response
    Fraser Sutherland
    Publication date:
    September 2014

    CAS responds to the CMA's consultation on whether the personal current account market should be investigated.

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  9. CAS submission
    Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    September 2014

    CAS has responded to the Independent Review of Personal Independence Payment. 

    The response, based on case evidence and a survey of advisers in bureaux across Scotland, highlights the severe impact huge delays in PIP assessments are having on claimants.

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  10. Citizens Advice Scotland response
    Fraser Sutherland
    Publication date:
    August 2014

    CAS have responded to the The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) consultation on plans to introduce a price-cap on high cost short term credit products.

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  11. Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    August 2014

    The rise in payday lending in the UK has led to a concurrent rise in the number of credit brokers who offer to search for loans for consumers for a fee. Evidence from the citizens advice service indicates that consumers can experience significant detriment and hardship caused by the (often unintentional) use of a credit broker. While brokers can offer a legitimate service, many of the industry practices, including providing misleading information, sharing personal details with other brokers, offering customer applications for the highest commission, and refusing to offer refunds, are in urgent need of change. 

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  12. "Litchfield Review"
    Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    August 2014

    CAS responds to the final independent review of the Work Capability Assessment for Employment and Support Allowance benefit.

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  13. The Newsletter of Citizens Advice Scotland
    Tony Hutson and Greg Black
    Publication date:
    August 2014

    The summer 2014 Newsletter of Citizens Advice Scotland looks at the transfer of Consumer Futures, the Armed Services Advice Project and the #ChallengeIt campaign, amongst many other things.

  14. A discussion paper
    Angus Citizens Advice Bureau
    Publication date:
    August 2014

    A discussion paper by Angus Citizens Advice Bureau looking at the Department for Work and Pension's "Digital by Default" strategy.  In particular, the paper considers how this works for CAB clients in Angus, many of whom have difficulties with technology.

    The report concludes that if the Government is to meet its target of moving 80% of all benefits claimants online, then it must take a multi-dimensional approach that takes into account the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalised members of our society to ensure that they are not offline and left behind.

  15. Written evidence to the Scottish Parliament Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    August 2014

    CAS submitted written evidence to the Committee's inquiry on how local authorities are meeting their duties to people who may be homeless or threatened with homelessness since the abolition of the priority need test at the end of 2012.

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  16. Robert McGeachy
    Publication date:
    August 2014

    Citizens Advice Scotland generally welcomes the approach set out within this consultation and believes it will provide SEPA with a clear policy and service delivery framework. We also believe that it could promote opportunities for SEPA to engage with communities as a Community Planning Partner to improve local outcomes.

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  17. Publication date:
    July 2014

    The UK Statement of principles is designed to assist retailers in their policies on the delivery of goods purchased over the internet by individual consumers. It sets out best practice principles as to how retailers can ensure their delivery services meet the needs of their customers. 

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  18. Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    July 2014

    This briefing focusses on a concerning aspect of the rise of the zero hours contract – the insecurity of working hours and income caused by workers being guaranteed no set amount of work, or even any hours at all in any given week. The human impact of the insecurity of income can be seen through the stories of CAB clients who have been forced to borrow from payday lenders and even resort to food banks because of significant variances in their pay from week to week. In this situation, budgeting can be impossible and the safety net of the benefits system inaccessible because of the unpredictable nature of their working hours.  We make a number of recommendations including a call for workers on a zero hours contract to be given a statutory ‘right to request’ a contract that guarantees hours, without fear of dismissal.

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  19. Consultation on the Consolidation of Public Drinking Water Regulations
    Sarah Beattie-Smith
    Publication date:
    July 2014

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation on changes to the Scottish Public drinking water quality regulations. It is anticipated that these changes will align the current legislative framework more closely with the EU’s Drinking Water Directive.

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  20. Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    July 2014

    This report is one of the most detailed examinations of the impact of sanctions in Scotland so far. It provides an analysis of the current system, its impact on clients , real case evidence and the findings of a survey of Scottish CAB advisers. We also provide 16 recommendations that are needed to the current  system and why they are needed.

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