On-going analysis of CAB case evidence over the last four years has shown that more and more bureaux clients are experiencing periods of no income, and are unable to afford essentials including food, gas and electricity to heat their homes, as well as priority payments such as rent. More worryingly still are the number of clients who present at bureaux having not eaten in a number of days.
This report, ‘Living at the Sharp End: CAB clients in crisis’, looks in detail at the causes of gaps in income, particularly with regards to the benefits system; the impact of gaps in income on CAB clients; and the adequacy of existing crisis assistance provided by statutory agencies.
Based on the findings of this research, the report recommends changes that could increase people’s resilience to income shocks, help to prevent gaps in income and improve crisis assistance. Citizens Advice Scotland’s intention is to present CAB evidence in order that we can work constructively with stakeholders to prevent anyone from experiencing a period of no income, and ensure that adequate crisis assistance is available when things do go wrong.