News In Focus
Debt is biggest concern, says CAB report
Nearly a third of requests for help from citizens advice bureaux in Scotland last year concerned debt problems, according to Citizens Advice Scotland's annual report for 2008-09.
Of the 976,989 problems people brought to CAB advisers almost 30% were debt related, up by 14% on the previous year.
Social security benefits issues accounted for 26%, a 10% rise. There was also a doubling in the number of inquiries relating to redundancy. Bank and earnings arrestments and sequestration were up 19%.
Citizens Advice Scotland, whose two-day 70th anniversary conference opens today in Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, expects a further increase in problems in the coming year due to the recession. Many clients bring a combination of problems, such as redundancy, loss of income, debt and threatened homelessness, often leading to health problems or family breakdown.
Chief executive Kaliani Lyle said the situation remained bleak for many despite the signs of economic recovery. "It's hard to talk the language of recovery when you are dealing face-to-face every day with people who are living with such dreadful circumstances."