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Spotlight on: Social Security benefits

CAS believes that aspects of UK welfare changes will be damaging to Scotland’s people, services, and economy. 

Welfare reform, public service cuts, and the economic climate are combining to place enormous pressure on public services and advice services. On top of this, reductions in benefit levels and eligibility will inevitably drive demand for advice provision at the same time as cuts are being felt across the public and voluntary sectors. Local government and voluntary services may have to pick up the pieces for those affected by welfare reform – all on a shrinking budget.

As client issues with welfare also create problems in many other areas of life including debt, housing, consumer and relationship issues, we expect welfare reform changes to put exceptional pressure on advice services and other areas of the third sector across the country. Early intervention, such as good advice, ultimately saves money – debt and welfare advice is significantly cheaper than homelessness and bankruptcy, and the social outcomes for clients are far better. Local authorities, the Scottish CAB Service and other organisations across the third and public sectors have a shared agenda in helping local people avoid crisis point and are increasingly working in partnership to achieve positive outcomes for the people and communities of Scotland.


  1. 7 Feb 2018

    Almost a fifth of people who seek advice from Scottish CABs say they never use the internet, with more than half unable to apply for jobs or benefits online without help, according to new research published today by Citizens Advice Scotland.

  2. 22 Nov 2017

    Citizens Advice Scotland has responded to the Chancellor’s announcement of reforms to Universal Credit.

  3. 9 Nov 2017

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has welcomed the Scottish government’s announcement of a new consultation on fuel poverty strategy.


  1. Briefing for the Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: February 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland supports a number of amendments, including those creating an independent expert Scottish Commission on Social Security to scrutinise regulations, and to clarify that people should always have a choice of receiving a benefit payment in cash, unless they explicitly choose to receive it 'in kind'.

  2. Briefing for the Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: January 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland supports a number of amendments, including those recognising the role of independent advice, to promote benefit take-up and income maximisation; and to require inclusive and accessible communications with individuals using the system.

  3. Briefing for MSPs
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: December 2017

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomes the general principles of the Bill which has the potential to create a new social security system that will make a positive difference for tens of thousands of Scotland’s citizens. There are, however, a number of areas that could be included on the face of the Bill as opposed to being left to regulations and guidance.

  4. Briefing from Citizens Advice Scotland
    Rhiannon Sims

    Publication date: September 2017

    Citizens Advice Scotland is calling for a freeze in the roll out of Universal Credit (UC) until serious policy and administrative issues have been addressed, to ensure that the positive principles behind Universal Credit can be achieved.

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