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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. 7 Oct 2020

    by Mhoraig Green, CAS Strategic Lead on Social Justice.

    This article was first published in the Herald on 7 October 2020.

  2. 31 Aug 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland has welcomed today's report by the Poverty and Inequality Commission about the levels of unspent money in the Scottish Welfare Fund.  

  3. 19 Aug 2020

    A fundamental review of disability assistance in Scotland must be initiated by the Scottish Government during the next parliament, according to a coalition of organisations campaigning for long-term improvements to social security for disabled people. 

Publications

  1. Response to Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee inquiry
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: September 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the draft regulations. CAS warmly welcomes the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment (SCP), which is an excellent example of imaginative use of Scotland’s devolved social security powers to provide much-needed support to Scotland’s citizens. Scotland’s CAB network regularly advises clients who have required crisis support from the Scottish Welfare Fund or food banks due to their social security entitlements not being adequate to pay for essential costs. The Scottish Child Payment promises to be an effective tool for reducing child poverty in Scotland.

  2. Stage 2 consideration briefing
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: September 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomes the Bill, which provides an opportunity to make minor amendments to address issues which have been identified since the passage of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018, including making provision for the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment. CAS welcomes the amendments brought at Stage 2, which cover a number of further areas which CAS and others identified in evidence at Stage 1.

  3. Scottish Campaign on Rights to Social Security Report

    Publication date: August 2020

    A fundamental review of disability assistance in Scotland must be initiated by the Scottish Government during the next parliament, according to a coalition of organisations campaigning for a long-term improvements to social security for disabled people. 

    Following the devolution of powers over disability and ill-health benefits to the Scottish Government, the Scottish Campaign on Rights to Social Security, has launched its long-term vision for disability assistance in Scotland. 

  4. Scottish Commission on Social Security consultation
    Rob Gowans and Alastair Wilcox

    Publication date: June 2020

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomes the moves to extend Winter Heating Assistance in the challenging context of COVID19 which has resulted in delays to wider measures on disability assistance.  We recommend the draft regulations are amended to better meet the policy intention and add clarity in a number of areas.

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