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Publications

  1. Delivering effective support to households with electric heating
    Craig Salter
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    Hard-Wired Problems: Delivering effective support to households with electric heating provides insight into the nature and reach of services that provide support to households that rely on electric heating, and explores consumers’ experiences of using these services and how services could be better supported.

    Spotlight:
  2. Rebecca Millar
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    Services that are essential for life, such as water and sewerage, should be affordable for all consumers.  CAS' latest research report takes a closer look at characteristics that may indicate whether or not a household will struggle to pay for water and sewerage charges. It also provides an analysis of various proxies that could be used to determine affordability, and at how additional financial support could be targeted towards households that need it most.

    The report found that:

    • Income is the most accurate indicator of whether or not a household is likely to find water and sewerage charges affordable.
    • 12% of households in Scotland spend more than 3% of their weekly income on their water and sewerage charges although not all receive additional financial support through available affordability mechanisms.
    • The current proxy used to provide financial relief, based on households being in receipt of Council Tax Reduction, is the most effective one that exists however, difficulties around more closely linking systems and data sets means that some households in need of additional support do not receive it. 
    • In the longer term, further research is necessary to identify how support could be more effectively targeted to all households that may struggle to pay.
  3. The potential for heating oil buying clubs in Highland Scotland
    Marcus Wilson
    Publication date:
    October 2018
    Spotlight:
  4. Rebecca Millar
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has provided feedback on the Scottish Government’s ‘Investing in and paying for your water services from 2021’ consultation.

    Spotlight:
  5. Scottish Government debate, 2 October 2018
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    October 2018

    CAS sent a briefing to MSPs ahead of the 'Building a Social Security System Together: Co-designing the Social Security Charter' debate, highlighting suggestions for the Charter from CAB clients and advisers and encouraging an approach of co-production with people who have direct experience of using the current social security system.

  6. Ruth Mendel
    Publication date:
    September 2018

    Citizen Advice Scotland responded to the Scottish Government Rural Economy and Connectivity's call for evidence - Transport (Scotland) Bill

    Spotlight:
  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

    Spotlight:
  14. 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. 

  15. 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.  

  16. 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'

    Spotlight:
  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. 

  20. 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.

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