Scots driven to debt as report raises concerns over financial pressures

Citizens Advice reveal scandal of in-work poverty and debt-dependency 

NEW RESEARCH for Citizens Advice Scotland has found a worrying level of dependency on debt schemes and financial shortfalls leading to people being unable to buy food or meet regular bill payments. 

Living from one pay day to the next’, conducted by polling agency Ipsos MORI, found that 51 per cent of Scots “say they occasionally run out of money before payday” - with 55 per cent saying they live on the breadline if it came to an unplanned bill payment of £100.

Focused on public experiences and attitudes to finances, credit and debt, the survey revealed debt-dependency across the social spectrum – despite many facing financial hardship being in-work.

The statistics found “almost one-quarter of respondents (24 per cent) having gone without food at least once in the previous year”. “Those under the age of 35, working part-time, living in private rented accommodation; or earning less than £16,000 per annum appear to be most likely to experience multiple instances of having to go into debt to pay for essential items,” the report added.

Read more - Scottish Tories under pressure as spike in child poverty and food banks linked to austerity

The issue of a squeeze in living standards, sky-high levels of income and wealth inequality, and public services in crisis due to Tory cuts have also featured prominently in the General Election campaign.

Figures from the Trussel Trust foodbank charity found foodbank use has spiked 9 per cent in 2016-17, with the use of emergency three-day food packages rising to 145,865 in Scotland, including 47,955 given to children.

The issue of poverty was found to link with worries about utilities being cut off, receiving a court summons, fear of eviction, and impacts on wellbeing including physical or mental health problems, problems sleeping, and stress place on relationships. Scottish Government research has found that the least wealthy 40 per cent of households in Scotland own less than 5 per cent of total wealth in the country.

Picture courtesy of Sally T

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