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Spotlight on: Social Security benefits

CAS believes that aspects of UK welfare changes will be damaging to Scotland’s people, services, and economy. 

Welfare reform, public service cuts, and the economic climate are combining to place enormous pressure on public services and advice services. On top of this, reductions in benefit levels and eligibility will inevitably drive demand for advice provision at the same time as cuts are being felt across the public and voluntary sectors. Local government and voluntary services may have to pick up the pieces for those affected by welfare reform – all on a shrinking budget.

As client issues with welfare also create problems in many other areas of life including debt, housing, consumer and relationship issues, we expect welfare reform changes to put exceptional pressure on advice services and other areas of the third sector across the country. Early intervention, such as good advice, ultimately saves money – debt and welfare advice is significantly cheaper than homelessness and bankruptcy, and the social outcomes for clients are far better. Local authorities, the Scottish CAB Service and other organisations across the third and public sectors have a shared agenda in helping local people avoid crisis point and are increasingly working in partnership to achieve positive outcomes for the people and communities of Scotland.

News

  1. 6 Jul 2017

    Today we are calling for a halt to the 'accelerated rollout' of Universal Credit, the major new UK benefit. In Scotland, we know Universal Credit has already caused problems for thousands of people – and we believe the issues with it must be addressed before it affects hundreds of thousands more. 

  2. 22 Aug 2017

    Citizens Advice Scotland has given its support to today’s report by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations about digital exclusion

  3. 18 Jul 2017

    We keep an eye on issues in the media that may affect bureaux and citizens. In case you'd like to take a look, here's our latest weekly summary of stories we've been tracking across the past seven days and various newspapers

Publications

  1. Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee call for evidence
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: August 2017

     In 2016/17, Scotland’s CAB network provided advice on 94,301 new issues relating to the benefits being devolved, representing 37% of benefits advice given, or 16% of all advice given by Scotland’s citizens advice bureaux in that year. CAS has provided a substantial body of evidence based on CAB clients and advisers’ daily experiences of engaging with the current system, together with their priorities for the new Scottish system.We look forward to continuing to work with the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government to ensure the new system is fair, equal and responsive with Scotland’s citizens at the heart of it.

  2. Study on the affordability of water and sewerage charges based on low income households
    Rebecca Millar

    Publication date: June 2017

    The Consumer Futures Unit of Citizens Advice Scotland is inviting tenders for research into a Study on the affordability of water and sewerage charges based on low income households

     

     

  3. The role of medical evidence in the benefits system
    Rhiannon Sims

    Publication date: June 2017

    Our ‘Burden of Proof’ report explores the role that medical evidence plays in assessing ill health and disability benefits, from the perspective of Citizens Advice Bureaux clients, advisers and some of the professionals involved.

  4. Scottish Parliament Local Government and Communities Communities Committee
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: June 2017

    Though not the only driver of homelessness, the past five years have seen a large increase in the number of rent arrears issues dealt with by Scotland’s CAB network. CAS is commencing research to examine the causes and consequences of rent arrears for CAB clients, including those who become homeless as a result. This submission examines CAB data related to homelessness and rent arrears, as well as some of the causes of rent arrears that can lead to evictions and homelessness.

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