Around one in seven adults in Scotland are finding it tough to get by on their current income level, according to a new piece of research.
The figures suggest that around 10 per cent of Scots find it “difficult” to make ends meet each month, while a further 4 per cent would describe their current financial situation as “very difficult”.
The data has been collected on behalf of the charity Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS), which is concerned that more people across the country might lose their jobs or see their incomes reduced in the second half of 2021.
It is feared that the winding down of the government’s furlough scheme might lead to those job losses and to reductions in pay for a significant number of Scots.
According to the CAS, the Covid crisis has clearly worsened the financial situations of a great many Scots and seen thousands of households nationwide struggling to get by on reduced incomes.
The charity has said it expects to see more people pushed into tougher financial circumstances in the coming months as the furlough scheme ends and employers are left with tough choices to make in relation to job cuts.
Figures revealed recently by StepChange, another debt help charity, suggested that roughly one in 10 Scots in problem debt would cite the pandemic as the fundamental reason while they’re in such financial strife.
“Even before the pandemic we knew lots of people were struggling to cope financially but Covid has unquestionably exacerbated the problems for a lot of people,” said Sarah Jayne Dunn from CAS.
“With many people already struggling to cope, Scotland could be facing a looming income crisis when furlough and other payment support protections wind down and then expire leading to job losses or reduced incomes,” she added.
However, Ms Dunn and CAS are making clear that “people don’t have to struggle on their own,” and encouraging anyone finding it difficult to get by to reach out for support and for debt advice if they need it.
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The Scottish government has committed to spending £64 million next year to help people in all parts of the country reduce their energy bills.
Ministers of the UK government have committed to phasing out the £20 uplift in the regular payments made via the Universal Credit system.
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