Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is the statutory consumer representative in Scotland. Our service delivers advice and advocacy for consumers on issues from energy to banking and from housing rights to payday loans as well as providing holistic advice and support for hundreds of thousands of people on issues from benefits to immigration.
The Citizens Advice service is one which is well recognised by the Scottish public. A survey of CAB clients and members of the public found that 98% felt they could trust the confidential service we provide, with 97% praising the service for helping people get fair treatment. A recent report produced by the Fraser of Allander institute found that the Scottish CAB service contributed a total benefit to the common good in Scotland of nearly £170 million.
The Command Paper states that “consumer advocacy and advice” will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament as part of the further devolution of powers and details the specific statutory powers, duties and functions that will transfer to Scotland.
Citizens Advice Scotland looks forward to working with both parliaments and governments to determine how best to deliver new powers. We are of the view that CAS is and should remain at the heart of the consumer landscape and that we have a key role to play in delivering an excellent advice and advocacy service for consumers.
CAS reports to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills on work undertaken and funded by the UK Government or through a levy on industry. Reports on our work in relation to the regulated markets of energy and post are laid before the UK Parliament. In addition, we report to the Scottish Government on our work on behalf of water consumers in Scotland. This reporting is laid before the Scottish Parliament. We would expect to report to any future funder and/or accountable body in a similar way.