£142million unlocked for people in Scotland says Citizen's Advice

Image: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) are celebrating new figures that show they've unlocked over £142 million for 187,100 people in Scotland through advice over the last year.

The charity says it comes from things like social security payments, employment entitlements and benefits in kind.

Citizen's Advice dealt with over 670,000 issues last year, a rise on the year before where it helped 174,500 clients, unlocking £132 million in client gains.

Over 2.5 million people looked for information online.

It says people gained after seeking advice, being an average of £3,700 better off.

Data also shows that for every £1 invested in its core service, £14 is delivered back to the community in client gains.

Derek Mitchell, Citizen's Advice Scotland chief executive, says: “These are extraordinary figures which shows the life changing results CABs deliver.

“It’s been a really tough few years for people across Scotland, with first the pandemic, then the cost-of-living crisis, and CABs have been on the frontline of these crises, helping people every step of the way.

“That’s what this network is all about. Founded in the shadow of World War Two, we’re there for people through the challenges they face with free, impartial and confidential advice.

“These figures also show the inescapable reality that demand on the service is increasing. CABs and the EHU are dealing with more cases, and those cases are more likely to be complex and involve people who have reached a crisis point.

“This crisis is not going away any time soon, and it will cast a long shadow over people’s finances, as many will have turned to debt to cover essential costs and found themselves caught in a vicious cycle of higher costs and higher debt repayments to cover those costs.

“The special thing about our service is it is person centre and wraparound., We help people through all their problems rather than signpost them to multiple different agencies, we don’t judge people, we just help.

“It delivers incredible results but needs more support – more secure and flexible funding would make a huge difference, and ensure people get the support they need.”

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