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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. 12 May 2021

    by David Scott, CAS Policy Officer (Social Justice team).

    This article first appeared in the Herald on 12 May 2021.

  2. 21 Apr 2021

    by Debbie Horne, Senior policy officer.

    This article first appeared in the Herald on 20 April 2021.

  3. 17 Mar 2021

    by Derek Mitchell, CAS Chief Executive.

    This article was first published in the Herald on 17 March 2020.


  1. Publication date: May 2021

  2. Building Social Security Back Post-Pandemic
    David Scott

    Publication date: May 2021

    The last year has shown the vital importance of our social security safety net. However, Universal Credit (UC) is unlikely to feature in the Government’s legislative agenda tomorrow. This risks missing lessons from the pandemic. While UC survived the influx of new claimants—in part by easing verification procedures and conditionality—fundamental aspects of its design have continued to put people in hardship. Reform is urgently needed so people have security and support as furlough is withdrawn and the economy reopens.

    CAS is calling for:

    › A review of UC’s adequacy as an in- and out-of-work benefit, with the £20 a week uplift made permanent

    › Restoration of Work Allowances for all people on UC and a review of the Taper Rate

    › The continued suspension of the Minimum Income Floor, with permanent changes to how self-employed income is assessed for UC going forward

    › The introduction of a non-repayable assessment period payment to replace the current five week wait and Advance Payment system

    › The ending of sanctions and unaffordable deductions

    › Wider access to offline options for making and maintaining a UC claim and the introduction of implicit consent for CAB and other welfare rights advisers

    › A fair, flexible, and safe transition to UC for those on legacy benefits, with an extension of the uplift and freedom to return to legacy benefits if UC entitlement is lower

  3. Publication date: February 2021

  4. Publication date: February 2021

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