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Scots told: you can depend on us as Scottish CAB Service deals with 1 million issues in a year

17 Apr 2014

Citizens Advice Bureaux across the country have long since been a port of call for those dealing with a whole raft of issues. 

Now analysis by Citizens Advice Scotland has shown that in 2012/13, the Scottish CAB Service dealt with over one million issues.  The majority of these issues - nearly 850,000 - were brought directly to a Citizens Advice Bureau (including the Citizens Advice Direct telephone helpline) with another 200,000 issues being processed by the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline.

The biggest advice area CAB deal with is welfare benefits, with issues increasing by 7% over the last three years.  This includes a 106% increase in the number of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) issues brought into bureaux between 2010/11 and 2012/13.  These complicated and stressful cases increased from 36,827 issues to 75,967 issues during that time, reflecting the massive strain welfare changes are causing on people and on bureaux.  The next two top advice areas were Debt and Employment.

Commenting Susan McPhee, Head of Policy and Communications for Citizens Advice Scotland said, 

“Scots are still struggling with the effects of the recession.  There is a lack of stable, secure work that pays enough to survive on.  At such a time, our services would always be in high demand.  Add to that welfare reforms, which are causing consternation for many bureau clients and workers alike, and we can begin to understand what a busy period the Scottish CAB Service is going through.

“Of course, our new role as a consumer champion has also increased our workload, and it’s good to see people in Scotland turning to our helplines and bureaux to seek advice on their rights as empowered consumers. 

“But the main message I take away from this startling statistic of one million issues dealt with in 2012/13 is that the CAB Service is vital for communities across Scotland.  When you need to turn to someone for help, you can depend on us.” 

ENDS

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