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Publications

  1. Energy networks in Scotland and their changing role with consumers
    Jamie Stewart
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Today Citizens Advice Scotland is publishing our latest report ‘Pylons, Pipes and People: Energy networks in Scotland and their changing role with consumers’.

    In late 2017 we commissioned the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and Changeworks to undertake a research study into the energy distribution network companies operating in Scotland. This study’s particular focus was to explore how these companies currently support consumers and how their role in Scotland can and should change to ensure that consumers, and particularly vulnerable consumers, are most effectively supported as our energy system transforms.

  2. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland provided evidence to HM Treasury's pre-paid funeral plans: call for evidence. We focused on the importance of ensuring consumers were both fully informed and protected from harm.

  3. Craig Salter
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    The social rented sector plays a fundamental role in providing genuinely affordable housing. High quality, energy efficient social housing is vital to Scotland’s communities. Scottish Government data shows that the energy efficiency of housing in the social rented sector has improved over recent years. However, while there have been some reductions in fuel poverty in this sector, the number of households in fuel poverty remains stubbornly high and greater than the national fuel poverty rate.

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  4. Craig Salter
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    This publication sets out Citizens Advice Scotland's detailed response to the Scottish Government's consultation on the route map for its Energy Efficient Scotland programme. 

  5. Kristin Hartman
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland conducted research into the use of postal services by Scottish SMEs - looking specifically at whether they have access to a meaningful choice of postal products, services and providers. We also wanted to find out if the current postal market is meeting the needs of Scottish SMEs or if any changes are required to improve the products and services available to these consumers.  

  6. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland responded to Financial Conduct Authority's Discussion Paper on Rent to Own, answering questions about 'What alternative solutions could there be to address harm from high prices?' and 'What issues should the Financial Conduct Authority should take into account in carrying out further work on a price‑cap'

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  7. Public Accounts Committee inquiry
    Olive Hill
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    CAS published the Learning from Testing Times evidence report which looked in detail at the experience of the first year of Universal Credit roll out through citizens advice bureaux feedback. There have been a few welcome changes since then, e.g. removal of the seven day waiting period, which have ameliorated some aspects of the negative impacts. However cases currently being handled by bureaux show a range of issues causing difficulties for clients.

  8. Modernising Consumer Markets
    Gail Walker
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    CAS welcomes the Consumer Green Paper and a stronger push by the UK government for greater simplicity, transparency and fairness for those that purchase and use goods and services.

  9. Publication date:
    June 2018

    This report contains the findings from research on Consumer Confidence and Understanding, conducted by Ipsos MORI, on behalf of Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

    The research comprised a survey of 1,004 consumers in Scotland (aged 16 and over), carried out between 7 and 20 March 2016. The specific issues covered were: experience of consumer problems and complaints; awareness and expectations of consumer organisations; awareness and perceptions of CAS; and experiences of using CAS services.

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  10. Scottish Government consultation
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the proposals for Best Start Foods and Vitamins to replace the current Healthy Start system when powers are devolved. Citizens advice bureaux in Scotland provide advice on eligibility and claiming Healthy Start Vouchers to help clients maximise their income, alongside providing advice on claiming benefits that ‘passport’ people into eligibility for the vouchers, such as Universal Credit and Income Support.

  11. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomed the opportunity to respond to this consultation concerning competition and transparency in the provision of funerals and crematoria market power. 

  12. Nina Ballantyne
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Scotland’s independent consumer advocate has pledged to put consumers first in the regulated industries of energy, water and post. The Consumer Futures Unit of Citizens Advice Scotland has outlined its priorities in its work plan for 2018-19.

  13. Craig Salter
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Today the Consumer Futures Unit (CFU) at Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is publishing its insight report 'Speaking up: Understanding Fuel Poverty Support Needs' alongside a briefing sheet.

    The insight report is based on research carried out in 2017 by Ipsos Mori and Bill Sheldrick. The CFU commissioned the research to explore the characteristics of fuel poor households that may be in the greatest need of support, and the types of support that would benefit them most.  The research included secondary analysis of Scottish Household Survey data as well as qualitative interviews with fuel poor households.

  14. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    In general, CAS welcomes this benefit and the potential improvements for applicants, particularly in terms of a less intrusive, simpler process and faster payment. We also welcome the Scottish Government committing to uprate the benefit annually, as this is an important step that will prevent the benefit further losing value. However, the 'other costs' element of the benefit has been frozen at £700 since 2003 and CAB advisers frequently see clients who cannot afford to provide a dignified funeral for their loved one.

  15. Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    In general, CAS welcomes the introduction of this benefit, and the expansion from the current Sure Start Maternity Grant to include payments at the time of children starting nursery and school where parents will incur additional costs. We also welcome increases to the value of the payment compared with the current system. 

    In 2016/17, Scotland’s CAB network advised clients on 1,009 new issues related to the Sure Start Maternity Grant.

  16. Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee inquiry
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    In general, passported benefits play an important role in helping people to maximise their income and by providing help to meet specific essential costs that they would otherwise be unable to pay for. The myriad of passported benefits available includes help with the costs of the school day, health costs, legal costs, costs associated with raising babies and young children and the costs of essential utilities amongst others. They also provide vital support for disabled people, in the form of access to the Motability scheme, Blue Badges and concessionary bus travel.

  17. Publication date:
    June 2018

    An important aspect of access to justice for consumers is to be able to access redress when something goes wrong, and that this redress should be easy to access, free and independent.

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  18. Marcus Wilson
    Publication date:
    May 2018

    CAS' response to the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) provisional recommendations from their investigation into heat networks. 

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  19. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    May 2018

    This report raises issues around the extent of consumers who would be unable to afford household goods, as well as a lack of awareness of consumers of different affordable options that are available to them. This research therefore expanded to look at the wider issues of the affordability of household goods and the different options in accessing them, as well as focusing on the rent-to-own sector.

    This research also explore the consumers experience of the rent-to-own sector as CAB research and evidence had suggested that this was a growing area of consumer concern. The research found positive and negative aspects of the sector and makes recommendations for future change.

     

     

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  20. Period 1 October 2017 - 31 March 2018
    Claire Williams
    Publication date:
    May 2018

    Over the last six months we supported 1319 clients with 5,969 new and repeat issues, achieving a client financial gain of over £1M.

    From the start of the service on 1 July 2010 to 31 March 2018, ASAP has supported approximately 12,500 individual clients with more than 62,500 new and repeat issues.

    The full report can be downloaded below. 

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