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Publications

  1. Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee Inquiry
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    September 2018

    CAS supported the devolution of employment programmes, as it represents the opportunity to provide schemes that more effectively support long-term unemployed people into work, based on the positive employability programmes already existing in Scotland.

  2. Eilidh McIvor & Olive Hill
    Publication date:
    September 2018

    Our series of briefings, 'Voices from the Frontline', demonstrates the impact of changes to the UK social security system on people in Scotland. This latest briefing considers the impact of deductions from Universal Credit payments.

  3. Digital access for consumers only using smartphones to access the internet
    Adam Milne & Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    August 2018

     

    Some people can only access the internet through their smartphone. When CAS surveyed clients, we found that this was the case for more than 1 in 10 respondents - 20% of all respondents who said they used the internet at all.

     This report looks in more detail at these consumers, analysing their characteristics and assessing their digital access and skills.

  4. Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee inquiry
    Rob Gowans and Olive Hill
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    In 2017/18, Scotland’s CAB network provided advice on 19,047 issues related to Universal Credit (UC), which by the end of the period had only been rolled out to around half of Scotland’s local authority areas. Additionally, CAB advised clients on 10,562 Working Tax Credit and 11,499 Child Tax Credit issues, which are the main in-work benefits that will be replaced by UC.

  5. Social Security Advisory Committee consultation
    Olive Hill and Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) have already stated that we believe that further roll out and managed migration of UC should be paused until the many issues affecting our clients have been resolved. We note that the intention is to start migration on a small scale from January 2019 before ramping up volumes once process has been tested. While CAS welcomes the changes that have been made to UC during roll out it is clear that there are still issues to be resolved. To proceed with managed migration before resolving all the issues will negatively impact a significant number of people.

  6. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    August 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland provided evidence to HM Treasury's pre-paid funeral plans: call for evidence. We focused on the importance of ensuring consumers were both fully informed and protected from harm.

  7. Craig Salter
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    The social rented sector plays a fundamental role in providing genuinely affordable housing. High quality, energy efficient social housing is vital to Scotland’s communities. Scottish Government data shows that the energy efficiency of housing in the social rented sector has improved over recent years. However, while there have been some reductions in fuel poverty in this sector, the number of households in fuel poverty remains stubbornly high and greater than the national fuel poverty rate.

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  8. Craig Salter
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    This publication sets out Citizens Advice Scotland's detailed response to the Scottish Government's consultation on the route map for its Energy Efficient Scotland programme. 

  9. Kristin Hartman
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland conducted research into the use of postal services by Scottish SMEs - looking specifically at whether they have access to a meaningful choice of postal products, services and providers. We also wanted to find out if the current postal market is meeting the needs of Scottish SMEs or if any changes are required to improve the products and services available to these consumers.  

  10. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland responded to Financial Conduct Authority's Discussion Paper on Rent to Own, answering questions about 'What alternative solutions could there be to address harm from high prices?' and 'What issues should the Financial Conduct Authority should take into account in carrying out further work on a price‑cap'

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  11. Public Accounts Committee inquiry
    Olive Hill
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    CAS published the Learning from Testing Times evidence report which looked in detail at the experience of the first year of Universal Credit roll out through citizens advice bureaux feedback. There have been a few welcome changes since then, e.g. removal of the seven day waiting period, which have ameliorated some aspects of the negative impacts. However cases currently being handled by bureaux show a range of issues causing difficulties for clients.

  12. Modernising Consumer Markets
    Gail Walker
    Publication date:
    July 2018

    CAS welcomes the Consumer Green Paper and a stronger push by the UK government for greater simplicity, transparency and fairness for those that purchase and use goods and services.

  13. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomed the opportunity to respond to this consultation concerning competition and transparency in the provision of funerals and crematoria market power. 

  14. Scottish Government consultation
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the proposals for Best Start Foods and Vitamins to replace the current Healthy Start system when powers are devolved. Citizens advice bureaux in Scotland provide advice on eligibility and claiming Healthy Start Vouchers to help clients maximise their income, alongside providing advice on claiming benefits that ‘passport’ people into eligibility for the vouchers, such as Universal Credit and Income Support.

  15. Nina Ballantyne
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    Scotland’s independent consumer advocate has pledged to put consumers first in the regulated industries of energy, water and post. The Consumer Futures Unit of Citizens Advice Scotland has outlined its priorities in its work plan for 2018-19.

  16. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    In general, CAS welcomes this benefit and the potential improvements for applicants, particularly in terms of a less intrusive, simpler process and faster payment. We also welcome the Scottish Government committing to uprate the benefit annually, as this is an important step that will prevent the benefit further losing value. However, the 'other costs' element of the benefit has been frozen at £700 since 2003 and CAB advisers frequently see clients who cannot afford to provide a dignified funeral for their loved one.

  17. Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    In general, CAS welcomes the introduction of this benefit, and the expansion from the current Sure Start Maternity Grant to include payments at the time of children starting nursery and school where parents will incur additional costs. We also welcome increases to the value of the payment compared with the current system. 

    In 2016/17, Scotland’s CAB network advised clients on 1,009 new issues related to the Sure Start Maternity Grant.

  18. Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee inquiry
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2018

    In general, passported benefits play an important role in helping people to maximise their income and by providing help to meet specific essential costs that they would otherwise be unable to pay for. The myriad of passported benefits available includes help with the costs of the school day, health costs, legal costs, costs associated with raising babies and young children and the costs of essential utilities amongst others. They also provide vital support for disabled people, in the form of access to the Motability scheme, Blue Badges and concessionary bus travel.

  19. Publication date:
    June 2018

    An important aspect of access to justice for consumers is to be able to access redress when something goes wrong, and that this redress should be easy to access, free and independent.

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  20. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    May 2018

    This report raises issues around the extent of consumers who would be unable to afford household goods, as well as a lack of awareness of consumers of different affordable options that are available to them. This research therefore expanded to look at the wider issues of the affordability of household goods and the different options in accessing them, as well as focusing on the rent-to-own sector.

    This research also explore the consumers experience of the rent-to-own sector as CAB research and evidence had suggested that this was a growing area of consumer concern. The research found positive and negative aspects of the sector and makes recommendations for future change.

     

     

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