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Spotlight on: Social Security Scotland


  1. 21 Mar 2022

    by Stephanie Millar, CAS Policy Manager (Social Justice team).

    This column was first published in the Herald on 21 March 2022.

  2. 7 Jul 2021

    by Debbie Horne, Senior Policy Officer (Social Justice).

    This column was first published in the Herald on 7 July 2021.

  3. 19 Aug 2020

    by Rob Gowans, CAS senior policy officer.

    This article was first published in the Herald on 19 August 2020.


  1. Laura Toffolo, David Scott

    Publication date: January 2022

    Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is supportive of the proposed approach to ending poverty and the need for food banks. The twin emphasis on prevention and response ensures the reasons for food bank use are tackled at source, rather than focusing only on how emergency support is delivered, and overall CAS would agree that moving towards a cash-first approach to food aid is a positive step. Measures which enable people to choose their own food can restore dignity in emergency food provision, enable people to buy food they enjoy and choose the items that will make the most difference to themselves and their families.

    However, there are additional dimensions to the need for food banks that CAS would call for further consideration of. These include:

    ›     The role of advice services in food bank referrals

    ›     Availability of social security support for different types of people

    ›     Debt as a driving factor in food bank use

    ›     Fuel poverty as a driving factor in food bank use

    ›     Housing costs as a driving factor for food bank use

    ›     Potential barriers to a cash-first scheme

  2. David Scott

    Publication date: September 2021

    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. Our members have a diverse range of experience and expertise and a strong understanding of social security and its impact on the people and communities we work with.

    Focusing on the impact the £20-a-week cut to UC will have to Scotland, our briefing shows that:

    • Nearly three quarters (74%) of Scottish Citizens Advice Bureau clients on UC will struggle if the cut goes through;
    • 1 in 4 people claiming UC in Scotland say they are ‘very likely’ to need to skip meals when the cut hits, and 17% say they are very likely to use a food bank;
    • As many as 4,000 low-income households (8,000 children) will lose entitlement to Scottish Child Payment if the cut goes ahead, due to the passporting of Scottish Child Payment from UC, meaning these families may face an income cut greater than £20-a-week; and
    • More than half a billion pounds a year will be removed from the Scottish economy, cutting support for some of the most deprived parts of the UK.

    SCoRSS is calling for the £20 weekly increase to Universal Credit to be made permanent.

  3. Publication date: August 2021

    Citizens Advice Scotland welcomes the positive changes made so far in the latest version of the regulations, but based on evidence from clients and advisers with experience of the current social security system, some concerns remain in a number of areas.

  4. Publication date: July 2021

    Between December 2020 and March 2021, the Scottish Government consulted on the first draft of new regulations for Adult Disability Payment (ADP). In June 2021, the Scottish Government published their response to this consultation. Citizens Advice Scotland welcomed encouraging signs in the latest government proposals, but CAS is calling for further change to get Adult Disability Payment right for disabled people in Scotland.

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