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Publications

  1. CAS briefing for Stage 1 debate
    Publication date:
    February 2024

    The Scottish Parliament will consider the general principles of the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill on 22 February 2024. This is an important Bill which seeks to reform the regulation of legal services in Scotland to promote “competition, innovation and the public and consumer interest” in the Scottish legal sector. This briefing outlines the views of Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) on the implications of the Bill for consumers of legal services and reflects on recommendations in the stage 1 report.

  2. A CAS consultation response
    Publication date:
    February 2024
  3. Issue 13 of the Citizens Advice Scotland network magazine
    Citizens Advice Scotland
    Publication date:
    February 2024

    Welcome to the Winter 2024 edition of Voice Magazine. 

    In this issue:

    • campaigning CABS; local approaches to national campaigns
    • East Renfrewshire CAB's Older People's Project explained
    • we meet David Hilferty, who took on the role of Director of Impact last summer
    • we also meet CAS's new Strategic Lead for Social Justice, Emma Jackson
    • debt and mental health issues often go hand in hand, will legislative change offer sufficient protections to vulnerable people?
    • Data from the network show the worrying impact on health of the poor state of some rental properties.

    Read it online or download a PDF.

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  4. Publication date:
    January 2024
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  5. The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 Amendment Bill
    Erica Young Social Justice Team
    Publication date:
    January 2024

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomes this opportunity to provide our overview of the impact of the Scottish Social Security landscape to inform scrutiny of this Bill proposing to amend the law governing the administration of social security in Scotland. As the amendments largely reflect our views expressed in the consultation process, including our recommendations, we have limited our response to those aspects of the Bill that are of the most direct concern to the Citizens Advice network in Scotland. We have expressed views where we believe there is scope for further amendments, or significant wrap around work needed to achieve the policy intent.

  6. An analysis of housing repairs advice across the Citizens Advice network in Scotland
    Aoife Deery
    Publication date:
    December 2023
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  7. Aoife Deery
    Publication date:
    December 2023
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  8. Hyo Eun Shin
    Publication date:
    November 2023

    CAS responded to the Scottish Government consultation on a Human Rights Bill for Scotland which opened in June 2023.  

  9. Piloting short-term crisis support alongside holistic advice
    CAS National Projects Team
    Publication date:
    October 2023

    A briefing for bureaux and partners.

  10. Issue 12 of the Citizens Advice Scotland network magazine
    Citizens Advice Scotland
    Publication date:
    October 2023

    Welcome to the Autumn 2023 edition of Voice Magazine. 

    In this issue:

    • what  happened at our first in-person conference in 3 years
    • outreach in the Highlands - new work from Central Sutherland colleagues
    • we meet our new Chair, Simon Rennie
    • accessible communications - Drumchapel CAB explains how they achieved a new accreditation
    • our new volunteering strategy, what happens next?
    • money advice delivered in the building society - a productive relationship between network and the industry.

    Read it online or download a PDF.

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  11. Publication date:
    October 2023

    CAS Financial Statements for year ended 31 March 2023.

  12. CAS Financial Health team
    Publication date:
    September 2023

    CAS has responded to HM Treasury's Consultation seeking views on the design and scope of the ban on cold calling for consumer financial services and products, including a call for evidence on the impacts of the proposed ban.

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  13. Publication date:
    September 2023

    Statistical briefing on advice given and client demographics including comparison to SIMD data.

  14. Publication date:
    September 2023

    Briefing on paid staff and volunteers; types of services provided to compliment the generalist service; client gains; how clients contacted CAB and the work undertaken by CAB in addition to giving advice.

  15. Publication date:
    September 2023

    Citizens Advice Scotland's annual report for 2022/23. 

  16. Publication date:
    August 2023

    CAS has responded to the Finance and Public Administration Committee's call for views on the sustainability of Scotland's finances.

    To read our response, download here.

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  17. Issue 11 of the Citizens Advice Scotland network magazine
    Citizens Advice Scotland
    Publication date:
    August 2023

    Welcome to the Summer 2023 edition of Voice Magazine. 

    In this issue:

    • new tech for volunteer management and engagement
    • illegal evictions - what are we doing as a network?
    • we look at Rory Mair's 6 years as CAS Chair
    • Adult Disability Payment - how we are working to bring about change.
    • Gambling Support Service - what has changed.

    Read it online or download a PDF.

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  18. CAS Strong Communities team
    Publication date:
    August 2023

    CAS has responded to the Equality, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee's call for views on the Legal Services Regulation (Scotland) Bill.

    In our response:

    ›     CAS reiterates our view that the Roberton model of a single independent regulator would deliver the greatest improvements for consumers in terms of transparency, accountability, and clarity of process. We underline our disappointment that the Bill has disregarded this model in favour of adding more layers of complexity to the existing landscape.

    ›     We express our disappointment that the promise of a regulatory regime with consumers at its heart does not seem to be delivered in the substance of the draft Bill – with many opportunities missed to strengthen the consumer interest.

    ›     We call for a clearer statutory role for consumer representation on the proposed regulatory committees (as distinct from generic lay representation), as well as consumer involvement in setting minimum standards for regulators.

    ›     We query the rationale for affording a lesser degree of scrutiny and accountability to current category 2 regulators in the draft Bill.

    ›     We welcome measures aimed at streamlining the complaints process including reducing complaints handling time, extending the remit to non-regulated for-profit providers, and introducing hybrid complaints. However, we caution that the retention of various layers and channels a complaint can take fails to deliver a simpler pathway for consumers, and we express concern about the removal of compensation for conduct complaints, as well as removal of the right to appeal SLSC decisions to an external body.

    ›     We welcome the expanded remit of the SLSC’s Consumer Panel but caution against the panel being seen as the catch all consumer scrutiny forum without increased resources to enable the panel to discharge these functions.

    ›     Regarding ministerial oversight, we call for greater consideration of the evidence sources for these interventions to be triggered, and the capacity this may require from the named bodies as well as consumer bodies fielding this data.

    ›     We call for urgent clarity regarding the definitions of ‘fee, gain and reward’, upon which third sector liability for entity regulation hinges. The variability of definitions of restricted and unrestricted legal services also poses concerns for the advice sector and we call for statutory consultation with these providers in the event of any change being considered.

    ›     We welcome the intention of the draft Bill to stimulate diversification in the legal services market, but we remain unclear how or whether the current provisions would enable this in practice. It remains difficult to envisage how the provisions around ABS and practicing restrictions might address the significant gaps in provision which CAS has repeatedly highlighted, without corresponding consideration of the pressing issue of legal aid reform.

    To read our full response download here.

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  19. Publication date:
    July 2023

    An evaluation of the Debt Happens campaign, which ran in Spring 2023. 

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  20. Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill
    Kyle Scott & Hyo Eun Shin
    Publication date:
    July 2023

    Citizens Advice Scotland has provided written evidence to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee in relation to the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill 

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