The Citizens Advice network in Scotland has unlocked financial gains worth almost £1.3 billion for people in the past decade.
Analysis of network data reveals that, since the financial year 2009/10, Scottish CAB advisers have delivered the equivalent of £1.29 billion for people who turned to the network for help.
This figure includes:
- Social security entitlements
- Debt that has been written off following specialist CAB advice
- Pay and entitlements owed by employers
- Tax savings and rebates
- Compensation on consumer issues like utilities and travel
- Food bank referrals
CAS is calling on policy makers – including the UK and Scottish governments, as well as industry, regulators and councils – to make a New Year’s resolution to put the cost of living at the heart of their policies next year.
During the General Election campaign, the charity published its annual state of the nation report, Advice in Scotland, which highlighted more than a doubling of advice issued on Universal Credit in 2018/19 to almost 40,000, over 100,000 pieces of advice issued in relation to debt and over 40,000 pieces of advice issued in relation to employment, with pay and entitlements the top concern.
CAS Chief Executive Derek Mitchell said:
“With a footprint in every community in the country the Citizens Advice network in Scotland helps hundreds of thousands of people each year, and in the past decade we have unlocked staggering amounts of money for the people who have turned to us for help.
“Last year alone our network put £131million back into people’s pockets – and the figure for the last decade has been almost £1.3 billion.
“That’s money that’s been put back into household budgets, communities and local high streets, and it shows how complex the economy can be for people to navigate, whether it’s the welfare state, rights at work as a consumer.
“As a new decade dawns we want to see policymakers – whether they are in parliament, government, council chambers or industry – to really put living standards at the heart of their policy agenda.
“For other people seeking to navigate the bills that fall through the letterbox in the New Year – the Citizens Advice network in Scotland is here to help.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Value of client gains for the past decade according to analysis of CAS data: