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Publications

  1. CAS supports principles of single enforcement body but warns it must be adequately resourced and resist centralisation
    Nina Ballantyne
    Publication date:
    January 2020

    Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland dealt with over 40,000 employment issues in 2018-19 alone, and recorded more than 300 detailed case studies related to employment. Employment advice is consistently one of our top five advice areas, and the advice categories “terms and conditions” and “pay and entitlements” are the most commonly recorded client inquiries. Between, 2016-17 and 2017-18, employment issues related to terms and conditions, and pay and entitlements grew slightly as a proportion of all employment issues we dealt with.  This Citizens Advice Scotland response is based on our previous research in this area and analysis of detailed case studies submitted by frontline advisers between April 2018 and September 2019[i].

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  2. CAS calls for better notice of shifts and shift cancellation
    Nina Ballantyne
    Publication date:
    January 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland is publishing its response to a UK Government "Good Work Plan" consultation. This consultation looked at unfair one-sided flexible working practices, where the employer expects the worker to be flexible and respond to shift changes with no or little notice, while not reciprocating. In this response, CAS provides examples of workers suffering detriment as a result of one-sided flexibility and makes recommendations to address this.

  3. CAS briefing for MPs
    Debbie Horne
    Publication date:
    January 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) believes the Universal Credit (UC) system must change if the benefit is to work for all citizens across Scotland, and the rest of the UK. By ‘work’ CAS means the UC system should not cause financial destitution or debt, should be accessible to everyone and should support people who are in work.

  4. Publication date:
    December 2019

    This briefing paper outlines the scale of the challenge to improve the energy performance of Scotland’s housing stock. It presents CAS’ estimate of how much it will cost to raise the energy performance of all homes in Scotland to at least an EPC C by 2040 (EPC B for social sector homes) in line with the Scottish Government’s target under Energy Efficient Scotland (EES).

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  5. Emma Ash
    Publication date:
    December 2019

    CAS welcomes the proposals for ECO3. The ECO scheme has helped deliver energy efficiency measures to vulnerable consumers in two other phases and we were pleased to see that BEIS and Ofgem are expanding consumer protections in this third iteration. In particular, we are pleased to see the incorporation of Trustmark into ECO3 to certify suppliers.  

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  6. Aoife Deery
    Publication date:
    December 2019

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation. It is important that we recognise the role that all bodies and sectors have to play in achieving the new and ambitious climate change targets that were passed in the Climate Change Bill in September 2019. 


    It is, however, imperative that the Scottish Government properly supports public bodies to meet any new duties or roles. It is important that public bodies are able to continue to provide the same (or higher) standard of service to citizens without inadvertently or intentionally passing on the cost of achieving emissions reductions to the very citizens they are trying to support.

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  7. Publication date:
    December 2019

    This policy report summarises findings and recommendations from our research into the complaints process for post and parcel companies. 

    CAS commissioned interviews with a number of delivery companies, and found that many are falling behind the Universal Service Provider Royal Mail when it comes to consumer complaints procedures.

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  8. Aoife Deery
    Publication date:
    December 2019

    In this response, Citizens Advice Scotland lays out our support of the broad aims of the principles within the policy statement, but urge that much more must be done to strengthen consumer protection and ensure that communities are involved in the process in an inclusive, sustainable way that meets their needs. 

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  9. A proposed guide for phone, broadband and pay-TV providers
    Kyle Scott
    Publication date:
    November 2019

    Citizens Advice Scotland has called for phone, broadband and pay-TV providers to recognise that vulnerable consumers need extra support in accessing these services.

    In a response to a consultation by Ofcom which is seeking to provide guidance to providers on treatment of vulnerable consumers, CAS calls for an inclusive approach which widens the definition of vulnerability to include rurality, and which recognises that consumers can be vulnerable at different times in their lives.

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  10. Scottish Parliament debate
    Debbie Horne
    Publication date:
    November 2019

    Since the roll out of Universal Credit (UC) began, CAS has repeatedly raised concerns about fundamental elements of the design and delivery of the UC system.

    Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) data, including Citizen Alerts (cases from local CAB), have shown the key problem elements of UC to be; the five week wait for first payment, the digital by default system, direct deductions from payments and increasing rent arrears caused by the cycle of payment in arrears.

  11. 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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  12. A snapshot of citizens advice bureaux clients
    Publication date:
    October 2019

    Our 7th edition in the 'Who Are You?' series describes those coming to citizens advice bureaux in Scotland for advice during November 2018.  

  13. Citizens Advice Scotland
    Publication date:
    October 2019

    Prices changes during the next regulatory period 2021 – 2027 may have a bearing on paying customers, particularly those on low income. CAS recently conducted research using Fraser of Allander Institute to understand how potential price change scenarios may affect aspects of affordability. Research sought to identify what proportion of Scottish households would be likely to spend more than 3% of income on water and sewerage under four charge scenarios between 2021/22 and 2027/28 (2%, 2.5%, 3% and 3.5%).

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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. Aoife Deery
    Publication date:
    September 2019

    This is CAS’s response to the Call for Evidence on the Annual Energy Statement. We believe that while Scotland is likely to miss its target of achieving 11% of heat demand coming from renewables by 2020, there are actions the Scottish Government can take to ensure that it remains on course for achieving net zero by 2045, including;

    ›     Boosting public buy-in by stepping up practical and financial support for consumers

    ›     Driving technological innovation

    ›     Reducing the cost of renewables 

    These measures will help to address what CAS believes are the key risks and threats to achieving the 2045 target:

    ›     the initial cost of moving to renewable heat sources

    ›     the lack of public awareness and buy-in to the scale of the change needed

    ›     the quality of installations and access to redress when things go wrong

    ›     the lack of advice and guidance on how to properly use low carbon heating systems to best effect

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  17. Michael O'Brien
    Publication date:
    September 2019

    CAS welcomes Ofgem’s proposals to improve outcomes for consumers who experience self-disconnection and self-rationing. We have identified a number of priorities:

    • The standardisation of friendly credit dates and hours, where technically feasible
    • Improvements to emergency credit provision, which maintains flexibility, but allows for the maintenance of supply in a reasonable worst case scenario
    • The removal of barriers to discretionary credit, which maintains protection from excessive debt, but enhances consumer choice
    • Improvements in how suppliers communicate with their prepayment customers, for e.g. as regards the seasonal accrual of standing charges
    • The formalisation of Ofgem’s Ability to Pay principles in the licence code
    • Utilisation of the full suite of smart functionality, for e.g. suppliers switching meters to credit mode to maintain supply
    • Viable alternatives to prepayment, for e.g. clarification on the future of Third Party Deductions for energy (Fuel Direct)
    • The extension of fuel voucher schemes (fuel credits)
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  18. Emily Rice
    Publication date:
    September 2019

    This is CAS’s response to the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) Regulations 2019. We welcome mandatory standards of energy efficiency in the private rented sector, provided that:

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  19. Alastair Wilcox
    Publication date:
    September 2019

    CAS has responded to BEIS’ Hydro Benefit Replacement Scheme (HBRS) and Common Tariff Obligation (CTO) consultation. Both are subject to a statutory 3-year review and are designed, respectively, to subsidise the cost of electricity distribution in the North of Scotland to avoid disproportionately higher distribution network costs for consumers vs. those charged in the rest of GB; and to prevent domestic suppliers from offering less favourable terms to remote rural and island communities in the North of Scotland than they do to comparable consumers located elsewhere within the North of Scotland electricity distribution network operator region.

    The HBRS imposes a levy on every electricity consumer in GB. For a typical dual fuel domestic consumer, this equates to about £1 per annum. To date, however, the additional costs of electricity distribution in the Shetland islands has been fully met by consumers in the North of Scotland. It is proposed that this will change and will instead be distributed throughout GB.

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  20. Eilidh McIvor
    Publication date:
    September 2019

    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 the five-week wait for a first payment for Universal Credit. 

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