Report highlights impact of coronavirus on all levels of society
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has helped thousands of people during the coronavirus pandemic who had never contacted the charity before, according to fresh figures.
The latest monthly data report published by the charity shows that 79,235 pieces of advice were issued by Citizens Advice Bureaux in August, which is the highest number in a single month since March.
More than eight in 10 (85%) of people seeking employment advice between April and August had never before contacted their local Citizens Advice Bureau, while 77% of those seeking housing advice were new to the network.
The report also revealed that new clients seeking support for the first time were more likely to be younger, owner-occupiers and in employment than those who had visited a bureau before lockdown.
It comes as figures published this week by the Office of National Statistics showing the unemployment rate grew to 4.1% in the three months to July and 695,000 UK workers have disappeared from the payrolls of companies since March.
CAS financial health spokesperson, Myles Fitt, said: “The impact of coronavirus across different parts of society has been laid bare by this report.
“Not only does it show that the number of people seeking help from the Citizens Advice network in Scotland continues to rise, it shows that an increasing proportion are contacting their local Citizens Advice Bureau for the first time.
“By just glancing at our data it’s crystal clear that thousands of people across the country are worried about issues including employment rights, housing, debt and benefits, and we’re concerned that the numbers will only keep increasing.
“Bureaux continue to offer support over the phone, by email and face-to-face by appointment so if you need help visit www.cas.org.uk for the contact details of your local Citizens Advice Bureau.”