REVEALED: SCALE OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT ADVICE NEEDED IN GLASGOW
CITIZENS Advice Scotland has called upon the next government elected to improve the cost of living, as support and advice sessions in Glasgow reached more than 2,000 regarding universal credit.
The city saw 2,081 pieces of advice handed out to Glaswegians, with the full service only operating for three months of the reporting period.
The charity also announced figures as part of their ‘Advice in Scotland’ report, which also saw Universal Credit advice sessions more than doubling in the past 12 months across the country to nearly
Citizens Advice Scotland has reported that figures for those seeking advice from the charity all across the country more than doubled this year compared to last with 272,000 people helped by the service in 2019, equalling around 1 in 18 people who sought advice in the past 12 months.
The charity’s website also garnered over 3.7 million page views from citizens seeking advice on issues such as employment, housing and pay.
CAS are now calling upon candidates for Glasgow’s constituencies to make a different in the lives of those they see on a regular basis.
Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive Derek Mitchell, pictured, said: “We’re an independent and impartial charity but the data from our state of the nation report makes clear that the next UK government simply must have living standards at the heart of its agenda.
“From issues such as debt and social security to energy, we are seeing people struggle with the cost of living. Boosting people’s incomes while dealing with rising costs must be a priority for policymakers – particularly with big challenges around cutting emissions in the future.”
More than 13,000 foodbank referrals were also made by Citizens Advice Scotland made throughout 2019, with the top advice categories used by people being benefits.
The plea comes as similarly last week, The Trussell Trust warned of an ‘unprecedented’ strain on Glasgow’s foodbanks during the harsh winter months, and urged incoming politicians to make changes for those who rely on them.
The Trussell Trust’s independent report showed that foodbank use has increased 22% already in 2019, with that figure expected over Christmas and New Year. The Trussell Trust’s chief executive, Emma Revie, said: “Our next government must start working towards a future where no one needs a foodbank. “Help us end the need for food banks for good, by asking all your local candidates up for election to pledge to protect people from hunger by making sure everyone has enough money for the basics.” Citizens Advice Scotland explained how advice sessions in Scotland released over £130million in financial gains for people accessing the service. Derek Mitchell continued, saying: “With a footprint in every community in Scotland the Citizens Advice network helped hundreds of thousands of people last year. Last year we unlocked financial gains of £131million for people in Scotland – that gives you an idea of the scale of what people are missing out on if they don’t turn to us for advice and support.
“People should know that their local CAB is there to help.”