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CAS responsePublication date:October 2016
Designing a new social security system for Scotland is a major opportunity and challenge. In this substantial consultation response, Citizens Advice Scotland has attempted to bring the best of our unique evidence base to inform the development of the new system based on the experiences of those who work with the current system on a daily basis.
Scottish Government consultationPublication date:September 2016
Citizens Advice Scotland agrees that the Scottish Government should
include in statute an ambition to eradicate child poverty. It is equally important
however that this ambition is backed up by clear strategies with specific,
measurable and deliverable actions that are directly linked to reducing the
levels of child poverty in Scotland.
Second Independent ReviewPublication date:September 2016
CAS has responded to the call for evidence to inform the second independent review of Personal Independence Payment.
Despite improvements having been made to waiting times and other aspects of benefit delivery, fundamental problems remain with respect to the design of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), specifically around assessments, medical evidence, length of awards, accuracy of decision making and mandatory reconsideration.
These are all issues that CAS raised in our response to the first independent review, and it is now crucial that solutions to these issues are found before more people experience similar problems as they undergo the transition from DLA to PIP.
Burial and cremation charges in Scotland 2016Publication date:September 2016
The basic cost of burial fees in Scotland (i.e. not including undertakers fees) is on average £1,363 in 2016. That’s a 7% increase since 2015.
Improving information and signposting for users and managers of private water suppliesPublication date:September 2016
The Consumer Futures Unit of Citizens Advice Scotland is very pleased to invite you to tender for research into Improving information and signposting for users and managers of private water supplies. Our Specification of Requirement sets out the research scope and timescales for delivery. Please also download a Pricing Schedule.
The closing date for clarification questions is Friday 16 September 2016 and we would ask that tenders are submitted by Friday 30 September 2016.
Many thanks and we look forward to hearing from you.
Issues affecting flooded consumers and ability to access affordable insurancePublication date:September 2016
CAS undertook a detailed survey research of 178 households in Scotland, over two thirds of which live in a flood risk area based on SEPA analysis.
The poverty premium in energy, telecommunications and finance in ScotlandPublication date:August 2016
As Scotland’s consumer champion, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is driven to identify and mitigate consumer vulnerability through evidence-based advocacy and education. While anyone can be a vulnerable consumer, those on a low income can find themselves particularly susceptible to financial detriment.
CAB Clients in CrisisPublication date:July 2016
On-going analysis of CAB case evidence over the last four years has shown that more and more bureaux clients are experiencing periods of no income, and are unable to afford essentials including food, gas and electricity to heat their homes, as well as priority payments such as rent. More worryingly still are the number of clients who present at bureaux having not eaten in a number of days.
A consumers guide to avoiding the latest financial scamsPublication 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
Delivering energy efficiency to rural, off-gas ScotlandPublication 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.
A review of energy efficiency and fuel poverty schemes in ScotlandPublication 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.
"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
CAS written evidencePublication 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.
A review of local bus provision by Scottish Citizens Advice BureauxPublication 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.
Early Evidence of the Impact of Universal Credit in Scotland's CAB NetworkPublication 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.
Briefing for Scottish Parliament debate - 9 June 2016Publication 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.
Briefing for MSPs - Scottish Parliament debate 2 June 2016Publication 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.
Publication date:May 2016
A third of CAB clients find themselves digitally excluded, according to new research.
UK Parliament Work and Pensions CommitteePublication 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.
CAB Client Profile Report: Issue 3Publication 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.