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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.

News

  1. 26 Apr 2018

    Article by Rory Mair,

    Chair, Citizen s Advice Scotland

    (published in the Scotsman newspaper following the passing of the Social Security Bill by the Scottish Parliament on 25/04/18).

  2. 9 Apr 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has responded to the news that some Universal Credit claimants are having substantial deductions made to their payments in order to pay off debts.

  3. 28 Mar 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland was announced as the 500th organisation to sign up to Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter at an event in Edinburgh today, with a commitment to increase digital skills and access throughout the Scottish CAB network.

     

Publications

  1. Rob Gowans

    Publication date: April 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomes the publication of the Bill and agrees with its general principles. The devolution of social security powers is an extremely significant development in the history of the Scottish Parliament and represents a unique opportunity to create a new system that has the potential to make a positive difference for tens of thousands of Scotland’s citizens.

  2. CAS response to Scottish Government consultation
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: April 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomes the opportunity to comment on the draft rules for the new Scottish Social Security Tribunals. We support a Tribunal continuing to be the forum for final dispute resolution within the Scottish social security system, and compared with some other aspects of the current system, the Tribunal system is relatively well-regarded by CAB clients and advisers.

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

    Publication date: February 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland supports a number of amendments, including to make sure all new benefit payments are uprated annually with the cost of living; and to make sure no-one is criminalised for genuine error.

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

    Publication date: February 2018

    Citizens Advice Scotland supports a number of amendments, including those streamlining the re-determination and appeals process to make it easier for individuals to challenge a decision; to make sure all new benefit payments are uprated annually with the cost of living; to make sure no-one is criminalised for genuine error; and to make sure no one has to make a large repayment for an error caused by no fault of their own.

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