Fairness, Equality, Responsiveness: Citizens Advice Scotland’s Submission to The Smith Commission was submitted in October 2014.
Using our evidence base of approximately 330,000 clients with over a million issues each year, we assessed what we believe are in the best interests of Scotland when it comes to devolving further powers to the Scottish Parliament in relation to the issues our service deals with.
CAS set three principles and applied them to each of the advice areas the clients of our service present with: fairness, equality and responsiveness.
CAS believes if the principles are adhered to, and a conclusion is made that devolved powers would mean a fairer, equitable and responsive means of governing Scotland then all efforts should be made to devolve powers and provide a workable solution for Scotland and the rest of the UK.
We believe that there must be increased co-ordination and communication between the UK and Scottish Governments – as well as when appropriate the other devolved administrations of the UK and the various agencies and stakeholders involved in policy and legislation development in government. At its heart this increased co-ordination and communication should have an aim of being more responsive to the needs and wants of the citizens of the UK.
CAS believes that cooperating and communication are crucial and there must be a major effort made by UK Government and Parliament, and other organisations and institutions, to be more inclusive and representative of all of the UK.
The areas we examined and made recommendations on in relation to devolved powers are on are within the following areas:
- Social Security
- Debt and Financial Products & Services
- Employment and Employability
- Consumer advice, advocacy & education and consumer protection