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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. 13 Feb 2017

    On Wednesday 8th February, Frank Mosson, manager of Bridgeton Citizens Advice Bureaux gave evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee in Westminster on the proposed Glasgow Jobcentre closures.

  2. 10 Feb 2017

    Citizens Advice Scotland has welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s Child Poverty Bill, but has called on the government to set specific and achievable targets.

  3. 26 Jan 2017

    Citizens Advice Scotland has said the UK government's announcement of more Jobcentre closures will hurt low-income families.


  1. Citizens Advice Scotland has published the first ever impact report detailing the positive contribution the service makes to Scottish society.
    CAS communications

    Publication date: October 2016

    In our first report of this kind, we demonstrate the impact of the Scottish Citizens Advice service on the 310,000-plus clients who received help in 2015/16, as well as touching on the wider benefits of our work to the rest of society.

  2. UK Government consultation
    Rhiannon Sims and Rob Gowans

    Publication date: February 2017

    CAS welcomes the Government’s ambition to reduce the disability employment gap, which is important in ensuring equality, fairness in the workplace and helping people with disabilities and health conditions maximise their incomes. However, it should be recognised that there are people who will not be able to undertake paid work because of their condition or impairment, in a number of cases for the remainder of their life.

  3. Consultation response from Citizens Advice Scotland
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: November 2016

    CAS is generally concerned about the restriction on families to only
    being able to claim Child Tax Credits or Universal Credit for two children, and
    would recommend the Government reconsider the policy in its entirety rather
    than making exemptions to it.

  4. Citizens Advice Scotland briefing for MSPs
    Rob Gowans

    Publication date: November 2016

    Designing a new social security system for Scotland is a major opportunity and challenge. CAS has attempted to bring the best of our unique evidence base to inform the development of the new system based on the experiences of those who work with the current system on a daily basis. In developing a substantial response to the Scottish Government’s recent public consultation on the devolved social security system, CAS carried out specific engagement activity with 144 CAB clients and 102 CAB advisers with direct experience of the current system, in addition to CAB case information which provide real time insights into the daily operation of the system.

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