Citizens Advice Scotland has welcomed today’s report from the Social Renewal Advisory Board, and has urged the Scottish Government to work towards some of its key recommendations.
The report recommendations include debt write off schemes. CAS led the case for a dignity and rights based approach to personal debt focused around the needs of the individual, including write-off schemes, to the group.
The charity also voiced support for recommendations from the group around fair work, the right to housing, redefining what services are essential to our communities, and setting a target to end digital exclusion in the next parliamentary term.
CAS Chief Executive Derek Mitchell said:
“The public health crisis of Covid 19 is also the most significant economic crisis of our lifetime, so this report is an essential contribution to the debate around how we move forward.
“The pandemic has certainly made things worse for many people, but the Citizens Advice network in Scotland saw huge problems with personal debt and peoples’ ability to deal with squeezed incomes and soaring living costs before Covid-19. Going back to normal simply won’t be good enough after this – we need real action on incomes.
“That’s why we’re pleased to see some of our key recommendations in the report, particularly around personal debt. Write-off schemes for people who have built up unsustainable levels of debt would be the right thing to do. There’s no social or economic sense in chasing people for money they simply will never be able to pay back.
“Last year the Citizens Advice network in Scotland unlocked over £170 million for people. We have supported people throughout the Coronavirus crisis and we’ll be here to do so afterwards, but policies focused on reducing poverty and improving people’s financial wellbeing in Scotland would make a huge difference.”