Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Press & Journal - 27/10/2010

Ctizens advice bureaus help take pressure off councillors, says the snp’s rob gibson

IT IS vital that Highland Council fulfils its economic obligation to keep up support for citizen advice bureaus, especially in the current economic situation, a Highland MSP said yesterday.

Highlands and Islands nationalist member Rob Gibson spoke out after meeting the manager of the Ross and Cromarty Citizen Advice Bureau, Mhairi Wylie, at Alness.

Mr Gibson, a former chairman of Ross and Cromarty CAB, said:

“In good times and bad CABs help take pressure off councils and councillors. I am acutely aware of the vital importance that it plays in our community.

“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, the 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.”

Mr Gibson added:

“In these times of economic hardship it can be argued that CABs are more important than others.

“And therefore they should be given increased support not less.”

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