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Publications

  1. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    November 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland responded to the Scottish Government consultation on Draft Statutory Guidance on Funeral Costs.

     

    Spotlight:
  2. CAS, Money Advice Scotland and StepChange joint briefing
    Mike Holmyard and Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    November 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland, Money Advice Scotland and StepChange believe that the prescriptive period for Council Tax arrears and reserved social security benefits and tax credit debt should be reduced from 20 years to five years. We support amendments which would remove the exemptions in the Bill for these debts.

    Spotlight:
  3. Scottish Parliament debate
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    November 2018

    Based on CAB evidence, CAS highlighted three main areas of concern to MSPs ahead of the debate - Halt and Fix Universal Credit, rent arrears and social security, and the overall impact of the welfare reform programme since 2010.

  4. Period 1 October 2017 - 30 September 2018
    Claire Williams
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    Over the last project year we supported over 2,550 clients with over 12,500 new and repeat issues, achieving a client financial gain of over £2.3 million. A survey of clients showed that 93% rated the service as very good or good.

    The full report can be downloaded below. 

  5. Scottish government consultation on fraud in the social security system
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    Whilst the Scottish social security system should make provision for the investigation of fraud, it is important that a clear distinction is drawn between intentional fraud and unintentional error, such as not reporting a change of circumstances unknowingly.

  6. Causes and Consequences for CAB Clients
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    Advice in relation to rent arrears has grown by over 40% since 2012, whilst debt-related issues have declined. This report examines the reasons why this steady increase in rent arrears has occurred, as well as who is most likely to be affected. It also looks at how CAB clients cope with being behind on the rent, and how they have managed to escape rent arrears – if they have indeed managed to do so.  

  7. Delivering effective support to households with electric heating
    Craig Salter
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    Hard-Wired Problems: Delivering effective support to households with electric heating provides insight into the nature and reach of services that provide support to households that rely on electric heating, and explores consumers’ experiences of using these services and how services could be better supported.

    Spotlight:
  8. Rebecca Millar
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    Services that are essential for life, such as water and sewerage, should be affordable for all consumers.  CAS' latest research report takes a closer look at characteristics that may indicate whether or not a household will struggle to pay for water and sewerage charges. It also provides an analysis of various proxies that could be used to determine affordability, and at how additional financial support could be targeted towards households that need it most.

    The report found that:

    • Income is the most accurate indicator of whether or not a household is likely to find water and sewerage charges affordable.
    • 12% of households in Scotland spend more than 3% of their weekly income on their water and sewerage charges although not all receive additional financial support through available affordability mechanisms.
    • The current proxy used to provide financial relief, based on households being in receipt of Council Tax Reduction, is the most effective one that exists however, difficulties around more closely linking systems and data sets means that some households in need of additional support do not receive it. 
    • In the longer term, further research is necessary to identify how support could be more effectively targeted to all households that may struggle to pay.
  9. The potential for heating oil buying clubs in Highland Scotland
    Marcus Wilson
    Publication date:
    October 2018
    Spotlight:
  10. Rebecca Millar
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has provided feedback on the Scottish Government’s ‘Investing in and paying for your water services from 2021’ consultation.

    Spotlight:
  11. Scottish Government debate, 2 October 2018
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    CAS sent a briefing to MSPs ahead of the 'Building a Social Security System Together: Co-designing the Social Security Charter' debate, highlighting suggestions for the Charter from CAB clients and advisers and encouraging an approach of co-production with people who have direct experience of using the current social security system.

  12. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    September 2018

    Citizen Advice Scotland responded to the Scottish Government Rural Economy and Connectivity's call for evidence - Transport (Scotland) Bill

    Spotlight:
  13. Marcus Wilson
    Publication date:
    September 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland responded to the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Energy and Fair Work committee's call for views on the Scottish Government's proposed Publicly Owned Energy Company.

    Spotlight:
  14. Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee Inquiry
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    September 2018

    CAS supported the devolution of employment programmes, as it represents the opportunity to provide schemes that more effectively support long-term unemployed people into work, based on the positive employability programmes already existing in Scotland.

  15. Eilidh McIvor & Olive Hill
    Publication date:
    September 2018

    Our series of briefings, 'Voices from the Frontline', demonstrates the impact of changes to the UK social security system on people in Scotland. This latest briefing considers the impact of deductions from Universal Credit payments.

  16. Christine Lang
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland received 268 responses to the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS) client feedback survey between 1st April 2017 and 31st March 2018.  Client satisfaction is high with 98% of respondents stating that they were either very satisfied (84%) or satisfied (14%) with the service.

    Spotlight:
  17. Digital access for consumers only using smartphones to access the internet
    Adam Milne & Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    August 2018

     

    Some people can only access the internet through their smartphone. When CAS surveyed clients, we found that this was the case for more than 1 in 10 respondents - 20% of all respondents who said they used the internet at all.

     This report looks in more detail at these consumers, analysing their characteristics and assessing their digital access and skills.

  18. CAS Research Team
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Statistical briefing on advice given; client demographics based on an annual survey of CAB clients undertake for 4 weeks in November 2017 including comparison to SIMD data.

  19. CAS Research Team
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Briefing on paid staff and volunteers; types of services provided to compliment the generalist service; client financial gains; how clients contacted CAB and the work undertaken by CAB in addition to giving advice.

  20. Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee inquiry
    Rob Gowans and Olive Hill
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    In 2017/18, Scotland’s CAB network provided advice on 19,047 issues related to Universal Credit (UC), which by the end of the period had only been rolled out to around half of Scotland’s local authority areas. Additionally, CAB advised clients on 10,562 Working Tax Credit and 11,499 Child Tax Credit issues, which are the main in-work benefits that will be replaced by UC.

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