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Publications

  1. Publication date:
    October 2021

    In May 2019, The Scottish Government committed to establishing an independent Energy Consumers Commission (ECC) to enhance the voice of consumers who reside in Scotland within the energy market. The commission was formed in July 2020 consisting of representatives with a wealth of experience in national consumer advocacy and advice bodies, academia and local groups serving energy consumers in their communities. Eradicating fuel poverty has been a policy priority for the Scottish Government since 2016, and has been a statutory obligation since the passage of the Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Act in 2019. While fuel poverty has been formally defined since 2019, and a fuel poverty strategy is expected in 2021, fuel debt has not been given the same attention by researchers and policy makers. Fuel debt is likely to become more prevalent and more unmanageable this winter as energy prices rise, and financial support such as the £20/week Universal Credit uplift and furlough end. This briefing, based on research commissioned from Changeworks, examines how fuel debt differs from fuel poverty, what key issues exist in Scotland, and the Commission’s recommendations on how to address rising levels of fuel debt.

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  2. Publication date:
    September 2021

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) gathers evidence from the more than 171,000 clients a year supported by our network. Many of the problems faced by our clients are rooted in or linked to their incomes not being enough to meet their needs and live a dignified life. For many people coming to see us they simply do not have enough money to make ends meet: YouGov in May of this year indicated 1 in 7 Scots is struggling on their present income even with the temporary financial support measures put in place as a result of the pandemic. In fact, 56% or half a million pieces of advice provided by our network every year can be attributed to income maximisation. During the pandemic CABs unlocked £147million for people through things like social security payments, employment entitlements and lower bills for utilities. A Minimum Income Guarantee would mean the Citizens Advice network could ensure people have even more security and opportunity.

    This evidence base, from over 80 years as Scotland’s largest free, impartial and confidential advice network, gives CAS a unique understanding of the issues that IPPR proposes could be addressed by a Minimum Income Guarantee. In addition, our experience supporting clients over the course of the pandemic shows that even those who were coping before the crisis still found themselves vulnerable if their income dropped or costs went up even slightly.

  3. Publication date:
    May 2021

    Scotland’s Citizens Advice network empowers people in every corner of Scotland through our local bureaux and national services by providing free, confidential, and independent advice. We use peoples’ real-life experiences to influence policy and drive positive change. We are on the side of people in Scotland who need help, and we change lives for the better.

    Our 2021/22 Impact work plan outlines the areas where we will be working to secure changes on behalf of our network’s clients. It has been drawn together following extensive analysis of advice data and consultative workshops with representatives from the network to identify significant trends and areas of concern.

  4. Publication date:
    November 2020

    We work on the issues that matter to our network’s clients and our member CAB. Our focus is on delivering advocacy drawn from the experience and insights of the Scottish Citizens Advice network, which is rooted in communities across the country. 

  5. Debbie Horne, Jemiel Benson
    Publication date:
    September 2020

    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 dealt with 110,439 debt issues around half of which were government or local authority debts. Advisers gave advice regarding benefit related debt problems, our main UK wide government debt issue on 5,557 occasions.

  6. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    September 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland has responded to the consultation on proposed guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable consumers. We are pleased to see the continued commitment by the FCA to protecting vulnerable consumers.

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  7. Publication date:
    July 2020

    The survey was commissioned by CAS and carried out and designed by Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research Ltd.

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  8. Publication date:
    June 2020

    This submission addresses issues of low pay and employment practices.

  9. Publication date:
    June 2020

    Technical details:
    • The survey was designed by Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research Ltd
    • Results are based on a survey of 1,050 respondents conducted using the ScotPulse online panel.
    • Wave 1 fieldwork was conducted between 24th and 27th March 2020 and received 1040 responses,
    • Wave 2 fieldwork was conducted between 9th and 12th April 2020 and received 1048 responses,
    • Wave 3 fieldwork was conducted between 7th and 18th May 2020 and received 997 responses,
    • Results are weighted to the Scottish population by gender and age.

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  10. Rebecca King
    Publication date:
    May 2020

    CAS welcomes the opportunity to feed into the work of the Scottish Government's Advisory Group on Economic Recovery. Central to our view of how to stimulate economic growth post-COVID-19 is the principle of protecting household incomes and helping with the cost of living. 

  11. Mike Holmyard
    Publication date:
    April 2020

    This report looks at whether there is detriment in the PTD market.

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  12. Mike Holmyard and Linda Hutton
    Publication date:
    April 2020

    In this report the Financial Health team explores the current state of play in council debt collection across council tax, rent and water debt and presents a charter for change. 

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  13. Publication date:
    April 2020

    Technical details:
    • The survey was designed by Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research Ltd
    • Results are based on a survey of 1,050 respondents conducted using the ScotPulse online panel,
    • Fieldwork was conducted between 9th and 12th April 2020
    • Results are weighted to the Scottish population by gender and age

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  14. Publication date:
    April 2020

    The survey was commissioned by CAS and carried out and designed by Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research Ltd.

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  15. Jemiel Benison
    Publication date:
    February 2020

    CAS responded to the Accountant in Bankruptcy's review of the Bankruptcy and Debt Advice Scotland Act 2014

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  16. Mike Holmyard
    Publication date:
    January 2020

    CAS responded and gave evidence to the Inquiry on Protected Trust Deeds.

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  17. Andrew Scobie
    Publication date:
    October 2019

    Andrew Scobie of Perth CAB has carried out a qualitative study to explore how third parties, specifically creditors and health professionals, are responding to the needs and circumstances of indebted citizens with mental health issues.

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  18. Jemiel Benison and Mike Holmyard
    Publication date:
    October 2019

    Citizens Advice Scotland has responded to the Insolvency Service's call for evidence on Insolvency Practitioner regulation.

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  19. Mike Holmyard
    Publication date:
    October 2019

    CAS welcomes the FCA's commitment to vulnerable consumers and the guidance they have published to help firms understand their obligations. 

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  20. Mike Holmyard
    Publication date:
    August 2019

    CAS has responded to the Accountant in Bankruptcy's consultation on returning funds to the free sector.

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