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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. 18 Feb 2020

    UK government statistics published today show that benefit claimants are getting less money in real terms than they were when Universal Credit (UC) was introduced in 2013, according to calculations made by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

  2. 17 Feb 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is urging the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to use his first budget next month to make key changes to Universal Credit, in order to offer more support for people who are in work.

  3. 11 Feb 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland has responded to new statistics published today by the Scottish Government about the Best Start Grant, which is aimed at helping families on low incomes.


  1. Publication date: January 2020

    The Scottish Campaign on Rights to Social Security (SCoRSS) is a coalition of organisations who advocate for a reformed social security system that reflects the five principles set out in our Principles for Change. SCoRSS (previously the Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform) encompasses over 40 organisations from key third sector organisations, charities, faith groups, and unions. 

  2. Scottish Commission on Social Security consultation
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: January 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland recommends the draft regulations are amended to change or clarify a number of areas to improve the social security support provided to disabled children and young people.

  3. CAS briefing for MPs
    Debbie Horne

    Publication date: January 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) believes the Universal Credit (UC) system must change if the benefit is to work for all citizens across Scotland, and the rest of the UK. By ‘work’ CAS means the UC system should not cause financial destitution or debt, should be accessible to everyone and should support people who are in work.

  4. Social Security Advisory Committee consultation
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: December 2019

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomes the opportunity to respond to the consultation. Advice on disability benefits and mobility are among the most common areas of advice provided by Scotland’s CAB network. In 2018-19, Scottish CAB provided advice to clients on 47,133 issues related to the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and 5,050 related to the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) mobility element.

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