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Publications

  1. Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    July 2013

    This briefing was provided for a Westminster debate on the Effect Of Government Policy On Disabled People. CAB across Scotland have experienced an increase in need for advice and support due to the impact of welfare changes and benefit cuts. These have had a disproportionate impact on disabled people who are already or will be affected by a multitude of detrimental changes.

     

  2. Advice trends in Scotland
    Publication date:
    June 2013

    This report examines trends in the kinds of issues that consumers in Scotland approached the Citizens Advice Service for advice on in 2012/13. 

  3. Scottish Affairs Committee
    Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    June 2013

    The UK Government’s changes to Housing Benefit have had a significant impact on claimants in Scotland. In this briefing, we have concentrated on the developing impact of the ‘bedroom tax’.

  4. Submission to the Work and Pensions Select Committee
    Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    May 2013

    The Work and Pensions Select Committee at the House of COmmons is holding an inquiry into the effectiveness of Jobcentre Plus, particularly in the context of current welfare reforms.

  5. Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    May 2013

    Citizens advice bureaux, and a range of other community organisations, have reported a significant rise in the number of service users who are either struggling to afford adequate food or who are experiencing a crisis where they cannot afford food at all. A range of factors are causing this trend, including falling incomes, a rise in food prices, and benefit cuts. This represents a worsening of a situation where many families were already struggling to afford adequate food. The establishment of the new food body in Scotland represents a timely opportunity to address many of the wider food-related issues that particularly affect Scotland, including food poverty, poor diet, obesity and ill health.

     

  6. Lauren Wood
    Publication date:
    May 2013

    In early 2013, the Scottish Government put the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill out for consultation.  The Bill embodies the changes envisiged in the Gill Review (2007) and includes proposals for the introduction of a new judicial tier as well as a specalist personal injury court.  This is the Citizens Advice Scotland response.

    Spotlight:
  7. Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    May 2013

    CAS responds to the HMRC's consultation on supporting customers who need additional help.  We focus on our experience of supporting clients with tax credits issues.

  8. Submission to the Public Administration Select Committee inquiry
    Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    May 2013

    Citizens Advice Bureaux experience very significant difficulties resolving problems with benefits and tax credits on behalf of clients.  A complaints mechanism is only as good as the system it supports.  Where there is a lack of faith in the system itself, it is likely there will also be a lack of faith in the complaints procedure.

  9. Digital exclusion amongst Scotland's CAB clients
    Sarah Beattie-Smith
    Publication date:
    May 2013

    In November 2012, the UK Government launched its Government Digital Strategy .  This paper sets out how the Government will transform the way it delivers services to citizens, including moving services online – a change in ethos to “digital by default”. The strategy includes an expectation that 80% of benefits applications will be completed online by 2017 .  This new strategy comes at the same time as the Government’s changes to the welfare system which, coupled with at least £18 billion of cuts to the UK welfare budget, will cause significant upheaval for citizens currently in receipt of benefits.

  10. Lauren Wood
    Publication date:
    April 2013

    The Scottish Government consulted in early 2013 on the possibility of achieving better dispute resolution in housing through introducing a Housing Tribunal.  The consultation sought views on the creation of such a forum and the extent to which a tribunal should have powers.  This is the CAS response.

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  11. Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    April 2013

    105,000 households in Scotland will lose £53 million in housing support due to changes coming into force in April 2013. This is the result of new size criteria for social housing – dubbed the ‘bedroom tax’ – which will see working age tenants penalised an average of £11 per week for under occupying their homes. An estimated 83,000 households affected by the change contain at least one disabled adult.

  12. The impact of benefit reforms, changes and cuts on people and families in Scotland
    Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    March 2013

    In October 2011, Citizens Advice Scotland published a briefing entitled The Impact of  the Welfare Reform Bill on Scotland’s people and services. The briefing showed that  an estimated £2.5 billion would be taken out of the local economy in Scotland during  the lifetime of this Parliament and predicted what the impacts would be on people. 

  13. Consultation response
    Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    March 2013

    The Department for Work and Pensions is asking for ideas about how they can make jobsearch requirements work for in-work benefit claimants.  Read CAS' response here.

  14. What Scotland needs from an independent Scottish welfare system
    Beth Reid
    Publication date:
    March 2013

    The Scottish Government has set up an Expert Group to examine what a benefits system could look like in an indepedent Scotland.  The publication sets out what CAS believes are the core principles for a new social security system for Scotland.

  15. Sarah Beattie-Smith
    Publication date:
    February 2013

    In November 2012, the UK Government launched its Government Digital Strategy . This paper sets out how the Government will transform the way it delivers services to citizens, including moving services online – a change in ethos to “digital by default”. Citizens Advice Scotland is concerned that a digital by default approach to welfare benefits could exclude some of the most vulnerable and marginalised members of society from accessing the very services they rely upon.

  16. Sarah Beattie-Smith
    Publication date:
    February 2013

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomes the initiative from the Scottish branch of the Trading Standards Institute to address the problem of cold calling for the purposes of property maintenance and repairs.  This briefing uses the evidence from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service helpline to demonstrate the consumer detriment caused by such practices.

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  17. Lauren Wood
    Publication date:
    February 2013

    The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee launched an enquiry into the issue of underemployment which CAS and Norma Philpott (Chief Executive of CARF) were invited to provide oral evidence to on the 23rd January.  This written evidence followed the oral session, reinforcing the arguments made on the day.

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  18. Publication date:
    January 2013

    In April 2012, changes to the number of working hours that couples must work to be eligible for Working Tax Credit affected thousands of families in Scotland. Around 11,770 families, with over 23,500 children, faced losing their Working Tax Credit payments (worth an average of £2,600 per year) if they could not increase their working hours to at least 24 hours per week. Case evidence from bureaux and other sources suggest that claimants have struggled to increase their working hours in the middle of a double dip recession. The outcome of this change is therefore likely to be that thousands of low income families in Scotland have lost millions of pounds of support.

  19. Citizens Advice Scotland briefing for MPs
    Publication date:
    January 2013

    Background

    The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill was announced following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in December. It will introduce a cap of 1% for three years from 2013/14 on most working-age benefits and tax credits.  MPs debate the Bill on Monday 21st January 2013.

  20. Keith Dryburgh
    Publication date:
    January 2013

    Evidence from bureaux shows that welfare changes are driving an increased demand for benefits advice across the country, with a knock-on effect on the ability of bureaux to be able to help their clients. As the welfare reform agenda gathers pace in 2013, we expect demand for benefit advice to increase further.

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