Citizens Advice Scotland tackling 1m issues a year

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​Increasing welfare cuts are leading to huge rise in people going to the CAB service for advice 

17th April 2014 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Over one million issues a year are now being processed by Scotland’s Citizens Advice service.

Figures released by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) show  in 2012/13 nearly 850,000 issues were dealt with by Citizens Advice Bureaux while 200,000 were processed by the service’s consumer helpline. 

There is a lack of stable, secure work that pays enough to survive on

The biggest advice area CAB deal with is welfare benefits, with issues increasing by 7% over the last three years. 

This includes a doubling in the number of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) issues brought into bureaux between 2010/11 and 2012/13. 

These cases increased from 36,827 issues to 75,967 issues during that time, reflecting the massive strain welfare changes are causing on people and on bureaux. 

The next two top advice areas were debt and employment.

Susan McPhee, CAS head of policy and communications, said Scots are still struggling with the effects of the recession. 

She added: “There is a lack of stable, secure work that pays enough to survive on.  

"At such a time, our services would always be in high demand.” 

CAS received £2.5 million welfare reform mitigation funding from the Scottish Government over the two financial years 2013-15.

However the organisation said welfare changes are driving unprecedented need for its services.  

McPhee continued: “Add to that welfare reforms, which are causing consternation for many bureau clients and workers alike, and we can begin to understand what a busy period the Scottish CAB Service is going through."