A new report from the respected Fraser of Allander Institute highlights that Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland contributed a total benefit to the common good in Scotland of £168.7 million in the financial year 2013/14.
By examining five advice areas - benefits, debt, employment, housing and relationships – which accounted for 79.6% of all new issues, the report concludes how CAB advice in 2013/14 benefits Scottish society as a whole.
By stopping adverse consequences (additional problems) occurring, the near £170 million in savings and contribution to society that the CAB network make are huge. The Scottish CAB service in 2013/14 had funding of £23.8 million. Therefore the return on investment for every £1 spent on the CAB service is over £7 in benefit to Scotland.
Summary of calculations
The 2014 report, which updates a previous report from 2012, estimates that Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland contribute a total benefit to the common good in Scotland of £168.7 million through the following:
- Health costs across all five advice areas equal to £32.6 million. The advice provided by the CAB reduces these costs by £22.5 million.
- Employment issues involving CAB clients increases unemployment benefit costs by £19.9 million. The advice provided by the CAB reduces these costs by £13.4 million.
- The loss of economic output due to employment issues is equal to £28.8 million. The advice provided by CAB reduces these costs by £19.5 million.
- CAB interventions increased client incomes by £67.9 million in 2013/14. This additional spending created 1,343 jobs and £29.6 million worth of wage income in Scotland.
- Total wages supported by CAS and CAB employment alongside effect of effect of wage and supplier spending amounts to £15.9 million.
Please note that the financial results in the report are quoted to one decimal place and are therefore subject to rounding error (i.e., the difference between a rounded-off numerical value and the actual value). The figure for the total impact of CAS/CAB quoted above (£168.7 million) is actually £168,691,610.