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Money advice service gets cash boost

This news post is over 1 year old

More people need advice as the cost of living soars

Scotland's Citizens Advice network will benefit from £1.9 million of new funding to upgrade a flagship service to help people through the cost of living crisis.

The Scottish Government will provide the funding from autumn 2022 to March 2023.

It will be used to upgrade the successful Money Talk Team project, which enables CAB advisers to help families and individuals maximise their incomes through access to grants, social security payments and other available adjustments.

The upgraded service will now include welfare advice and specialist debt advice, as the cost of living crisis sees people increasingly pushed into debt as incomes struggle to keep up with bills.

Citizens Advice Scotland Chief Executive Derek Mitchell said: “The cost of living crisis is squeezing household budgets to breaking point with bills, inflation and interest rates all going up.

“One of the key things people can do is seek advice to help with their finances. CAB advisers get real results for people. We helped over 174,000 people last year with a further 2.4 million checking our online advice pages. That unlocked over £132 million in gains for clients.

“When we drill down on what that means for individuals the difference is staggering – around one in six people who seek advice from a CAB see a gain, and the value of those gains is over £4,200. Our advice is free, impartial and confidential. We never charge people for advice and we don’t judge, we just help.

“This funding from the Scottish Government will help us support thousands of people, and is a vital investment during these difficult times.”

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government Shona Robison added: “We are delighted to support the Citizens Advice network in Scotland to deliver the Money Talk Team service. Bringing together advice on debt, money and welfare into the one service will make it easier for people to receive the holistic advice they need in a way that works for them.    

“The service is part of our wider investment of around £12.5 million this year in advice services to provide free income maximisation, welfare and debt advice across the country to help people who are struggling the most access the support they need.

“In addition, we have allocated almost £3 billion in this financial year alone to help families and households mitigate the increased costs people are facing, including £1 billion in providing services and financial support not available elsewhere in the UK.”