Brexit: Your rights around work, claiming benefits and life in the UK won’t change unless new laws are passed. This will take time. Read more about Brexit.

You are here

Working with parliament

We use the parliamentary process, both in Westminster and Holyrood, to present our policy evidence to politicians.  Our aim is to effect change that will benefit not just CAB clients but Scotland's citizens as a whole.

We want to work with parliamentarians to highlight our evidence, raise the profile of issues affecting our clients, and bring about change. 

Working with Parliamentarians

We want to work with parliamentarians to highlight our evidence, raise the profile of issues affecting our clients, and bring about change. We work with parliamentarians, councillors and officials on subjects of joint interest at both a local and national level.

The policy team at CAS use the evidence gathered by CAB from the hundreds of thousands of clients and the issues they bring to bureaux each year to analyse trends and highlight the problems that affect people across Scotland. From there, alongside the statistics that we gather about how many issues are being dealt with by CAB across Scotland case evidence will be used to take action on those issues we are seeing. This evidence means the service has a unique insight into emerging policy trends across the Scottish CAB.

It is this client evidence we use in a variety of documents such as reports, briefings, and consultation submissions. Using both the statistics and client case studies we gather and analyse, we aim to show policy makers what the effect is on people across Scotland of policies, practices, and processes which are negatively impacting on our citizens, or indeed working well.

We aim to make recommendations on how policies or legislation could be altered or introduced that will make life better for our clients. This work means representatives of the service will regularly meet with government Ministers, parliamentarians, councillors, and policy makers to affect change and use the evidence gathered by CAB as the basis for these meetings. CAS is also represented on various government working groups where the experience of CAB clients is highlighted.

Other work includes suggesting or providing parliamentary motions and questions and providing information and briefings for debates. We regularly provide written and oral evidence to parliamentary committees who are investigating an issue or considering legislation and make recommendations for change. We also campaign on many of the issues we identify to try to seek change, or to mitigate the impact of a current policy. We will also highlight our campaigns to parliamentarians and see their backing at both national and local level.

Benefiting society

The free and independent service provided by CAB means that people are not only helped with the issue they present with. That advice can also prevent a variety of other problems occurring. By helping thousands of clients every day, bureaux provide a positive outcome for clients and prevent people ending up at the door of other services, possibly in an even worse situation or with a problem that has spiralled out of control. The service therefore saves money to the public purse both locally and nationally. That benefit to clients and to society is regularly highlighted through our parliamentary work.

Your local representatives

If your local MP or MSP wants to visit your CAB, or you want them to visit you, CAS can help by contacting the relevant person, providing briefings to both CAB and politician, and helping with any follow up work that might be needed. A visit can often help highlight local issues, the work of the CAB and foster good relations with those who represent your clients in parliament. A visit may also be a good opportunity to highlight the work of the service to the media. For more information contact parliament@cas.org.uk / 0131 550 1014.

“I would like to praise the work of Citizens Advice Bureaux, which provide such a marvellous service."

Stewart Maxwell MSP

“The Government greatly values the work Citizens Advice Scotland and individual Citizens Advice Bureaux carry out in major areas such as debt, welfare rights and employment.”

Anne McGuire MP

“The difference the support provided by Citizens Advice can make is most obvious in relation to welfare. Those who are backed by Citizens Advice are much more likely to win their appeal against a benefit claim than those who aren’t.”

Tom Greatrex MP