Immediate release 25/10/10
Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has spoken of the importance for continued council support for Citizens Advice Bureaux across the region.
Mr Gibson words came following a meeting with manager of the Ross and Cromarty Citizen Advice Bureau Mhairi Wylie in Alness.
Mr Gibson a former chair of Ross & Cromarty CAB in the 1980s said….
"Given the current economic situation it is very important that the Council fulfils it's economic obligation to keep up support for CABs. In good times and bad CABs help take pressure off councils and councillors. As a former chair of the CAB in Alness I am acutely aware of the vital importance that it plays in our community."
"This was further driven home to me during my meeting today. Indeed my colleague Bill Kidd MSP has highlighted the invaluable help that CABs play in helping people deal with the changes in the benefits system especially regarding incapacity benefits. The new system for determining who is fit for work I (Employment and Support Allowance ESA) is thought to be unfit for purpose and often gets it wrong thus making people work who are not fit to.
However 70% of clients who have appealed against their ESA decision and were represented by a bureau adviser have had their appeal upheld. The evidence based system that the CABs employ makes for a and clearer case."
"it I s therefore incumbent on Highland Council not to threaten this extremely important community service so that those who are unfairly treated have a course of action open to them to seek justice."
"In these times of economic hardship it can be argued that CABs are more important than others therefore they should be given increased support not less."