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Publications

  1. Kyle Scott and Greg Thomas
    Publication date:
    April 2020
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  2. Supporting individuals and communities using private water supplies to make informed treatment choices'
    Citizens Advice Scotland
    Publication date:
    April 2020

    Scotland is one of the first nations to sign up to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 6.1 specifically targets “universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all”. Scotland has a significant challenge in achieving this goal by 2030 for more than 190,000 people who are not served by the public supply.

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  3. Citizens Advice Scotland
    Publication date:
    March 2020

    196,000 people in Scotland are not connected to the public water supply, and rely on a private supply for drinking water. Water quality in private supplies can be poor. Those responsible for the supply must cover the full burden and cost of ensuring that they are treated, monitored, and maintained correctly. The majority of private supplies are rural or remote rural.

  4. Publication date:
    February 2020

    Fairer pricing, clear and accurate billing and better support for people in vulnerable situations are at the heart of Citizen Advice Scotland’s (CAS) priorities for the energy market in Scotland which are summarised in this report. 

    With the retail market facing potential changes in the coming years, with OVO energy’s recent takeover of SSE retail energy business, as well as the Scottish Government’s proposal for a Public Energy Company, the charity has published a report on priorities for customers.

    This report draws upon evidence and insights from our frontline advisers in Citizens Advice Bureaux (CABs) across Scotland and the Extra Help Unit (EHU). It highlights cases from our CABs in six thematic areas which are crucial to consumers.

    CAS six key consumer priorities are: 

    • Fair pricing and debt support; so customers aren't shocked by sudden increases in costs and the ability to pay is central to any debt repayment scheme.
    • Ease of contact; so customers aren’t left in the dark or hanging on the phone about their service or bills
    • Clear and accurate billing; to allow customers to understand how charges have been calculated, and to stop people accruing debt through no fault of their own
    • Easy access to the Warm Home Discount; to help more people with the cost of energy
    • Better support for vulnerable consumers; particularly accurate meter reads to prevent bill shocks
    • Offering choice for consumers on restricted electricity meters; to challenge fuel poverty for consumers off the gas grid

    The report also summarises a review undertaken for CAS around consumer engagement in the energy market in Scotland and makes a number of recommendations on how fuel poor households may be supported. This review is available on request. 

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  5. Debbie Horne
    Publication date:
    February 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) believe the Universal Credit (UC) system must change if the benefit is to work for citizens across Scotland and the rest of the UK. CAS has consistently sought to work with the government to address the problematic aspects of the UC system. In this Budget submission, CAS sets out two policy recommendations that would improve UC for people in-work.

    Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) data, including Citizen Alerts (cases from local CAB), have shown clear issues for people who are working and on UC. Particularly, that people are often working and living with an income that is too low to meet the cost of living. Ensuring that UC makes work pay was central to the original policy aims of UC. However, this is not the reality for people who are working, are on UC and are finding themselves accessing CAB for financial advice.

    To improve UC for people in-work, CAS calls on the government to announce two key changes in the forthcoming Budget:

    1.   Introduce a Work Allowance for all claimants

    2.   Reduce the Taper Rate to allow workers to keep more of what they earn

     

  6. 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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  7. CAS
    Publication date:
    February 2020
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  8. Water Policy Team
    Publication date:
    January 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland is today publishing a new guide for how organisations can take the public with them when planning new building developments or other activities. Based on joint research carried out with Scottish Water and the Customer Forum, the CAS report captures the components of best practice community engagement, which we believe should be at the centre of organisations’ community engagement policy and practice.

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  9. Publication date:
    January 2020

    The Scottish Campaign on Rights to Social Security (SCoRSS) is a coalition of organisations who advocate for a reformed social security system that reflects the five principles set out in our Principles for Change. SCoRSS (previously the Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform) encompasses over 40 organisations from key third sector organisations, charities, faith groups, and unions. 

  10. 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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  11. Scottish Commission on Social Security consultation
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    January 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Aoife Deery
    Publication date:
    January 2020

    This is CAS' response to the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee's call for view on local energy and electric vehicles, as part of their Energy Inquiry. CAS acknowledges the central role that locally-owned energy and electric vehicles have to play in the transition to low carbon, in line with climate change targets but we emphasise the need to protect consumers in the transition from unaffordably high fuel bills, scams and lack of redress, especially those who are vulnerable to these changes.

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  14. 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.

  15. Mike Holmyard
    Publication date:
    January 2020

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

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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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