Sharon McDougall - 9th December 2021 - 2 minutes to read
Energy bills have become unaffordable for more than one in three Scottish consumers, according to a new set of polling.
Among those people who said they effectively cannot afford to cover their energy costs, around 80 per cent cited the rising prices associated with their gas and electricity supplies as a reason.
The issue of rising costs and inflation more generally were also cited by a majority (65 per cent) of people as a reason why they cannot pay their energy bills this winter.
Around a quarter of people said they struggle to pay their energy bills in part because their homes are difficult to keep warm and 40 per cent said that the fact of their having a low income means they find it tough to make ends meet.
The relevant polling was carried out by YouGov on behalf of Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS), which has said households across the country are experiencing something of a “perfect storm” with rising prices and diminished incomes creating real problems.
The charity has noted that for a lot of households in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK, the reduction to Universal Credit payments has also come as a hugely significant blow financially.
“The fact that one in three people find their energy bills unaffordable is unacceptable, and what this research shows is that the underlying reasons can be varied and complex,” explained Kate Morrison from CAS.
“From rising inflation and increased bills, to low incomes and homes that are hard to heat, people are struggling this winter - and these problems are likely to last well into 2022,” she said.
CAS recently collaborated with several other debt help charities in Scotland to emphasise the importance of seeking help with debt problems if you are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with those issues alone.
The charity pointed out that debt problems can have a major impact on any individual’s mental health and their personal relationships.
“Debt is a horrible situation to be in,” noted Myles Fitt from CAS in a statement.
“Weunderstand that it can be hard to seek help, and recognise there can be shame and stigma attached, but we also know there are many advantages to asking for advice sooner.”
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