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Publications

  1. Publication date:
    February 2021
  2. David Scott
    Publication date:
    February 2021

    The Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2021, passed yesterday on Tuesday 9th February, increases social security payments by the rate of CPI inflation (0.5%) from 1st April 2021. However, if the £20 a week uplift to UC is not made permanent in the Budget, this uprating is negated. From April, if the £20 weekly uplift is removed the value of UC’s Standard Allowance will drop by as much as a quarter (25%), when people need this money most. Removing the £20 a week uplift will leave the Standard Allowance for UC worth less in real terms in 2021-22 than when it was first introduced 8 years ago in 2013.

    CAS is calling for: The £20 a week uplift to be made permanent

  3. David Scott
    Publication date:
    February 2021

    The Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2021 increases social security payments by the rate of CPI inflation (0.5%) from 1st April 2021. CAS welcome any increase to social security payments including Universal Credit (UC). However, current legislation prevents the future of the temporary £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit (UC) from being included in this annual review of benefit rates – at a time when uncertainty around the future of the £20 uplift is growing. Due to the benefits freeze from 2016 to 2019, UC rates remained at 2015/16 levels, meaning that in real terms the value of social security payments have fallen.


    If the £20 a week uplift to UC is not made permanent, any inflation-related uprating is negated. People on UC are at risk of a serious shock to their income, including the millions claiming for the first time as a result of the pandemic. To avoid a rise in poverty, greater strains on public services and harming economic recovery, the £20 a week uplift must be maintained.

  4. David Scott
    Publication date:
    January 2021

    MP Briefing in support of 18 January Opposition motion to keep the £20 a week UC uplift.

    An unprecedented number of people have claimed UC for the first time since March, with the total number of UC recipients in Scotland doubling since January 2020 to 475,000 people. At the start of the pandemic, CAS welcomed the UK Government increasing UC payments by £20 a week – an annual increase of £1,040. CAS now recommends that the £20 increase to Universal Credit is made permanent in the Spring Budget.

  5. David Scott
    Publication date:
    January 2021

    In this submission CAS sets out two much needed policy actions that must be included in the Budget. The first is to ensure that Universal Credit (UC) is maintained at an adequate level to effectively fulfil its function as a vital safety net and public service. Making the £20 a week increase permanent is the first step to ensuring that UC can meet the needs of the increasing number of people relying on UC. The second is to allow UC to become a better tool for recovery and support more people into work when the economy can open back up, as well as those already in work and claiming UC.

  6. David Scott
    Publication date:
    January 2021

    CAS recommends the £20 a week increase to UC is made permanent.

    If the uplift is removed, it will have the following impacts:

    • People across Scotland on Universal Credit will face a significant income shock and be pushed into poverty.
    • Financial hardship will be exacerbated, with wider health and economic impacts.
    • Those already struggling will be hardest hit. An additional 1 in 6 Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) clients in complex debt will be pushed into an income crisis.
  7. Debbie Horne
    Publication date:
    December 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 issued 311,714 pieces of advice on benefit issues, the single largest area of advice for the network in 2018-19. Since February this year the network has provided over 85,000 pieces of advice on Universal Credit alone.

  8. Debbie Horne
    Publication date:
    November 2020

    At the start of the on-going pandemic, CAS welcomed the quick action taken to boost the level of payment of Universal Credit (UC).

    Since March, Scotland’s Citizens Advice Network has provided over 85,000 pieces of advice on Universal Credit. The role of UC in the social security safety-net has never been as important as in the current crisis.

  9. Debbie Horne
    Publication date:
    November 2020

    CAS produced this data briefing alongside a policy briefing calling for the £20 a week increase to Universal Credit to be made permanent.

  10. Debbie Horne
    Publication date:
    November 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland recommends the draft regulations are amended to change or clarify a number of areas to improve the social security support provided to disabled children and young people.

  11. Debbie Horne
    Publication date:
    October 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the Social Security Committee’s call for evidence on the role of Scottish Social Security in COVID-19 recovery.

  12. 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.

  13. Debbie Horne
    Publication date:
    September 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Spending Review process and provide our insight and data. Protecting and maximising household incomes and averting mass unemployment are the essential foundations on which the Spending Review in this time of COVID-19 must be built. The Government can do this by committing to the following actions;

    • Implementing targeted job protection initiatives to avert unemployment,
    • Strengthening the Universal Credit safety net by ensuring level of payments are maintained at least at current levels,
    • Making Universal Credit work for those in work.

  14. Response to Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee inquiry
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    September 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the draft regulations. CAS warmly welcomes the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment (SCP), which is an excellent example of imaginative use of Scotland’s devolved social security powers to provide much-needed support to Scotland’s citizens. Scotland’s CAB network regularly advises clients who have required crisis support from the Scottish Welfare Fund or food banks due to their social security entitlements not being adequate to pay for essential costs. The Scottish Child Payment promises to be an effective tool for reducing child poverty in Scotland.

  15. Stage 2 consideration briefing
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    September 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomes the Bill, which provides an opportunity to make minor amendments to address issues which have been identified since the passage of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018, including making provision for the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment. CAS welcomes the amendments brought at Stage 2, which cover a number of further areas which CAS and others identified in evidence at Stage 1.

  16. Scottish Campaign on Rights to Social Security Report
    Publication date:
    August 2020

    A fundamental review of disability assistance in Scotland must be initiated by the Scottish Government during the next parliament, according to a coalition of organisations campaigning for a long-term improvements to social security for disabled people. 

    Following the devolution of powers over disability and ill-health benefits to the Scottish Government, the Scottish Campaign on Rights to Social Security, has launched its long-term vision for disability assistance in Scotland. 

  17. Scottish Commission on Social Security consultation
    Rob Gowans and Alastair Wilcox
    Publication date:
    June 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomes the moves to extend Winter Heating Assistance in the challenging context of COVID19 which has resulted in delays to wider measures on disability assistance.  We recommend the draft regulations are amended to better meet the policy intention and add clarity in a number of areas.

  18. 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. 

  19. Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    May 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomes the opportunity to provide evidence on the Bill. The Bill provides an opportunity to make minor amendments to address issues which have been identified since the passage of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018, including making provision for the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment. CAS welcomes the Bill and is broadly content with its provisions, although there are a number of areas that the Committee may wish to consider in its scrutiny.

  20. Work and Pensions Committee inquiry
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    April 2020

    The DWP’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak has included many welcome changes, benefiting those making a social security claims for the first time, but also those who were already supported by the UK’s safety net. Many issues that social security recipients are still facing in accessing support are similar to the issues CAB clients told us about before the outbreak. Our recommendations aim to help DWP address these issues and are based on quantitative and qualitative data from CAB all over Scotland. 

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