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Demand for advice continues to increase due to COVID-19

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is impacting all levels of society as new data shows how different people are receiving help from Citizens Advice Bureaux for the first time.

The latest monthly data report published by the charity shows that 79,235 pieces of advice were issued by Citizens Advice Bureaux in August, which is the highest number in a single month since March. 

Further to this, 85% of people seeking employment advice between April and August had never before contacted their local Citizens Advice Bureau. 

​This follows figures published yesterday by the Office of National Statistics showing the unemployment rate grew to 4.1% in the three months to July and 695,000 UK workers have disappeared from the payrolls of companies since March.

Meanwhile, 77% of those seeking housing advice in the same period were new to the Citizens Advice network.

The data also shows that new clients seeking support from a Citizens Advice Bureau for the first time are more likely to be younger, owner-occupiers and in employment than those who had visited a CAB before lockdown.

CAS Financial Health spokesperson, Myles Fitt, said: “The impact of coronavirus across different parts of society has been laid bare by this report. 

“Not only does it show that the number of people seeking help from the Citizens Advice network in Scotland continues to rise, it shows that an increasing proportion are contacting their local Citizens Advice Bureau for the first time.

“By just glancing at our data it’s crystal clear that thousands of people across the country are worried about issues including employment rights, housing, debt and benefits, and we’re concerned that the numbers will only keep increasing.

“Bureaux continue to offer support over the phone, by email and face-to-face by appointment so if you need help visit for the contact details of your local Citizens Advice Bureau.”