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Budget 'will hit poorest Scots hardest'

Citizens Advice Scotland Credit: Citizens Advice Scotland

Welfare cuts announced in today's Budget will hit Scotland's poorest people hardest, according to Citizens Advice Scotland.

The charity says more people could be forced into poverty, and have to rely on foodbanks, because of the changes.

It has welcome the introduction of a National Living Wage, but says wider cuts mean many people will be left worse off:

We are very concerned about the impact these cuts will have on the poorest and most vulnerable Scots – many of whom have already been hit hard by the previous welfare reforms. Once again it looks like the burden is falling on those who are least able to cope.

Last year Scottish CAB advisers saw a 71% increase in the number of people who needed to be referred to foodbanks. Our concern today is that these cuts will drive that trend to increase even more.

We of course welcome the move to a living wage economy, but it looks like for most people this will not be enough to off-set the impact of the wider cuts. We note too that the projected minimum wage rise to £7.20 next year still falls short of the Scottish living wage which is currently £7.85.

The freezing of working age benefits for four years is a cut in real terms. And some of the welfare cuts appear to have been focussed sharpest at young people in society - many of whom will be left without adequate support, particularly those who have no families to support them.

Anyone who is concerned about their finances can get expert advice from their local CAB or from our helpline on 0808 800 9060. CAB advice is free, impartial and confidential.”

– Susan McPhee, Head of Policy CAS

First 'pop up' Citizen's Advice Bureau at a Scottish football match.

Following a rise in the number of people in the area who have had problems with doorstep, high street and payday lenders, the citizens Advice Service has decided to make themselves accessible to the community at Annan Athletic v Peterhead. Advisors will be on hand in the supporter's social club.


"I was unlucky"

A Jedburgh man is one of thousands to call Citizens Advice Scotland, after buying a faulty used car.

Policeman David Ross bought a new vehicle on 1st October. Within 2 weeks it had to be towed to a garage, following engine failure.

David Ross with his faulty used car Credit: ITV News

"Initial thoughts are that it could be quite expensive. My options as I am aware are either to return the vehicle to the garage that I bought it from for a full refund, or the garage that I bought it from should pay for the repair.

"You buy from a garage because you think that is the safer option. In this case I think I have been unlucky."

Scots "ripped off" by used car dealers

A report suggests that thousands of Scots are being ripped off by used car dealers every year.

Citizens Advice Scotland say 100 Scots contact them each week after buying a faulty used car, claiming in one out of 10 cases the car is unsafe to drive.

Citizens Advice Scotland’s Chief Executive Margaret Lynch says:

“The CAB service is one of the main consumer support agencies in the country. And what we are finding is that used cars are one of the biggest areas where consumers are being exploited. At a time when many Scots are struggling financially and looking for ways to save money, rogue car dealers are cynically ripping them off by selling them vehicles they know are duds.

“Every industry has its rogues, and it’s only fair to say that many used car dealers operate fairly.

"But the minority in this industry who exploit their customers are not only ripping them off, but in many cases are putting lives in danger by letting cars on the road that are not safe to drive.

“These figures are shocking, but it’s worth remembering that these are just the cases that were reported to us at the CAB service.

"There will be many more cases out there which have been reported to other authorities, or which haven’t been reported at all. Many people feel that when they buy a Used Car they don’t have the same rights and guarantees that they have if they buy a new one from a garage.

"One of our messages today is that consumers always have rights as a customer, and we will help you stand up for those. It’s also vital that you check what you are buying before you part with your money.

"You don’t need to be a car expert to be able to spot what’s not right. We have a list of easy checks you can make when buying a used car. And anyone who has a complaint about a used car dealer can get specific advice by calling our special Consumer Advice Helpline on 08454 040506.”


Campaign to help cut winter fuel bills

The Citizen's Advice Bureau is urging people who are worried about the cost of keeping warm this winter to make sure they are getting the best deal on the fuel bills, and contact them if they need help.

As part of its Big Energy Saving Week, the CAB is telling people to "check, switch and insulate", as energy costs continue to rise.

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