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Publications

  1. A consumers guide to avoiding the latest financial scams
    Fraser Sutherland
    Publication date:
    July 2016

    This consumer guide provides information on the latest financial scams the Citizens Advice service in Scotland has seen and how to spot the signs of a scam

    Spotlight:
  2. Delivering energy efficiency to rural, off-gas Scotland
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    Mains gas is the cheapest way to heat a home but 23% of Scottish households rely on more expensive fuel types, such as bottled gas or electricity, to heat their property. Many off-gas households are located in rural areas and are vulnerable to fuel poverty owing to a number of additional factors, such as a greater prevalence of colder properties which are harder to treat with energy efficiency measures. 

  3. A review of energy efficiency and fuel poverty schemes in Scotland
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    The Scottish Government have announced that they will introduce Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) in the coming years. This scheme will make use of the new powers over energy efficiency funds. Given the current political interest and potential levels of investment, CAS believes that it is important to ensure that the impacts resulting from undertaking large-scale energy efficiency installations are fully understood.

  4. "Measures to ensure the Scottish water and sewerage non-household retail market work well"
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    The Consumer Futures Unit's response to the Commission's consultation seeking views on measures to ensure the Scottish water and sewerage non-household retail market
    works well.

  5. CAS written evidence
    Rhiannon Sims
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    If conditionality is to be used within the benefit system, CAS believes it must be part of a holistic system that supports, rather than compels, jobseekers into sustainable employment. Sanctions should be always proportionate to the “offence” and should be operated as a last resort to ensure that claimants are seeking employment in exchange for their benefit. 

  6. A review of local bus provision by Scottish Citizens Advice Bureaux
    Fraser Sutherland
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    In 2015 Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) published a report, Remotely Excluded, which used our advice statistics to identify the major issues facing consumers in rural Scotland. One of the most important themes identified by Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) and our clients was the difficulty people had accessing essential services, such as healthcare and work opportunities, using the bus network. To look more closely at what was happening with public transport across Scotland we carried out regional research lead by 16 of our local CAB members.

    Spotlight:
  7. Early Evidence of the Impact of Universal Credit in Scotland's CAB Network
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    This report presents many of the Universal Credit cases that Scotland’s CAB network has advised on during the first year of the rollout. At this stage, it is a only a small fraction of the people who will eventually receive Universal Credit – single jobseekers with ‘simple’ claims. However, the evidence allows us to start to identify some of the challenges that may stand in the way of the success of Universal Credit and to make recommendations for how these obstacles can be overcome. These challenges fall into three groups – design challenges, transitional and administrative challenges and future challenges.

  8. Briefing for Scottish Parliament debate - 9 June 2016
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    This briefing focuses on the opportunities that the devolution of social security powers to Scotland with a particular focus on disability benefits – it is the chance to design a system that has the principles of dignity and respect at its heart. The following pages outline the challenges and issues that the Parliament needs to address to make this system a reality.

  9. Briefing for MSPs - Scottish Parliament debate 2 June 2016
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    June 2016

    This briefing focuses on the opportunities that the devolution of social security powers offers to Scotland – it is the chance to design a system that has the principles of dignity and respect at its heart. The following pages outline the challenges and issues that the parliament needs to address to make this system a reality.

  10. Patrick Hogan
    Publication date:
    May 2016

    A third of CAB clients find themselves digitally excluded, according to new research.

  11. UK Parliament Work and Pensions Committee
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    May 2016

    Citizens Advice Scotland is extremely concerned about the potential negative impact of the abolition of the ESA Work Related Activity component. The removal of support for the additional costs faced by disabled people through this component could have the effect of creating additional barriers to them gaining employment. The majority of people affected by the move are far from the labour market, with 73% of Scottish claimants in the ESA Work Related Activity Group having been in receipt of the benefit for more than two years, and in some cases will never be fit for work again.

  12. CAB Client Profile Report: Issue 3
    CAS Research Team
    Publication date:
    April 2016

    In this edition of the ‘Who Are You?’ series we take a look at those who came to CAB service points during November 2015.  Information was collected on almost 17,000 clients, which is an increase in reporting of 6% from our first client profile data collection in 2014.  In learning from the pilot phase of this work, a more accurate measure of comparison between the client profile and all clients seen in November has been developed.  This indicates that the profile captures approximately 74% of all clients seen in November 2015, an increase of 6% from the proportion seen in 2014.

    As with all surveys of this type not all clients wished to answer all questions; it is also not always appropriate to ask for such information.  Because of this it is not possible to report on every category, but our analysis shows that comparison with the client profile data from 2014/15 is consistent and the data collected is robust enough to compare with the 2011 Census. 

  13. CAB Client Profile Report: Issue 2
    CAS Research Team
    Publication date:
    April 2016

    Using data from the 2014 Client Profile survey, this second publication in the 'Who Are You? series looks at initial findings from an analysis of CAB clients by the type of advice provided to them.

  14. Energy policy team
    Publication date:
    April 2016

    The Consumer Futures Unit of Citizens Advice Scotland and Citizens Advice (England and Wales) have responsibilities to represent energy consumers in Great Britain in accordance with the 2007 Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act.

    This paper is their joint response to the provisional decision on remedies in the Competition and Market Authority (CMA)’s energy market investigation.

  15. An analysis of employment advice provided by Scotland’s CAB network
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    April 2016

    The Citizens Advice Service is the most common external source of advice for employees who experience problems at work. In Scotland last year, clients brought over 50,625 new employment issues to their local CAB.

    Spotlight:
  16. A Guide to Deemed Contracts
    CAS / WICS
    Publication date:
    April 2016

    The Consumer Futures Unit and the Water Industry Commission for Scotland have developed and published a leaflet aimed at small businesses who may be unaware they need to pay for water and sewerage services, and are allocated a supplier. The leaflet explains what a Deemed Contract is and what they need to do next.

  17. The Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland work plan for 2016/17
    Publication date:
    March 2016

    Following our earlier consultation, we are pleased to launch our Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland work plan for 2016/17, covering our work in energy, post and water.

  18. CAS response
    Rhiannon Sims
    Publication date:
    March 2016

    CAS has responded to the Social Security Advisory Committee's consultation on Decision Making and Mandatory Reconsideration. 

  19. Consumer issues with subscription traps
    Nick MacAndrews and Daniel VandenBurg (Citizens Advice) with Fraser Sutherland (Citizens Advice Scotland)
    Publication date:
    March 2016

    Online shopping in the UK is on the rise and with this comes a different set of consumer problems. One such problem is subscription traps. These are situations where a consumer is tricked into agreeing to a subscription through the advertising of a “free trial” or reduced price offer. If the consumer doesn’t cancel the trial within a set amount of time they automatically get transferred onto a costly subscription payment plan.

    Spotlight:
  20. Social Security Advisory Committee consultation
    Rob Gowans
    Publication date:
    February 2016

    Citizens Advice Scotland responded to a consultation on the UK Government's proposed changes to the length of time a person can be absent from Great Britain without losing entitlement to Housing Benefit and Pension Credit.

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