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CAS response to the Scottish Affairs Committee's Welfare in Scotland Inquiry

In 2018-19, the Citizens Advice network helped over 270,000 clients in Scotland with almost 750,000 advice issues. With support from the network, clients had financial gains of over £131 million and our self-help website Advice in Scotland received approximately 3.7 million views.

The Citizens Advice network issued 311,714 pieces of advice on benefit issues, the single largest area of advice for the network in 2018-19. Since February this year the network has provided over 85,000 pieces of advice on Universal Credit alone.

›      The removal of the Two-Child Limit.

›      The Benefit Cap is reviewed enabling those in receipt of benefits to receive their full entitlement without this being capped. 

›      The £20 a week increase to Universal Credit is made permanent.

›      Universal Credit Advance Payments are replaced with a non-repayable assessment period payment.

›      Alternative, suitably supported offline options to make and maintain claims (such as telephony, and where possible due to current COVID-19 restrictions face-to-face support and home visits) to be available and actively promoted to all claimants. 

›      A review of the Minimum Income Floor used to estimate earnings for the self-employed with a move towards using actual earnings to calculate entitlement.

›      The extension of Work Allowances to everyone on Universal Credit

›      The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) review debt recovery process and introduce a revised system for managing debt that better reflects people’s ability to pay without experiencing hardship, based on a robust holistic affordability check procedure.

›      The DWP and Scottish Government continue to work together to develop a solution to enable direct payments to landlords to be made in a more suitable manner.

›      The Scottish Government and UK Government work together to implement the two outstanding Scottish flexibilities as a priority.

›      The next Scottish Government initiate a fundamental review of disability assistance with reference to SCORSS six principles for a new rights based disability assistance system.

Debbie Horne
Publication date
December 2020
Publication type
Number of pages