Sharon McDougall - 27th February 2023 - 2 minutes to read
Demand for advice on issues linked to energy debts has been soaring across Scotland in recent months, according to a leading debt help charity.
In fact, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has reported that for the first time its debt experts are being contacted about energy debts more often than they are about any other subject.
For some years, the most raised issues among new CAS clients in Scotland have related to Universal Credit or some other aspect of the welfare system.
However, by December 2022, energy advice was more in demand among Scots than any other form of personal finance support.
CAS’ chief executive Derek Mitchell has explained that issues relating to Universal Credit and the benefits system are still very much in evidence but energy debt has emerged as a massively prevalent problem recently.
“For energy advice to overtake benefit issues is a significant moment, and shows the scale of the energy crisis,” Mr Mitchell wrote in an article published in the Herald.
“December was bitterly cold at points. There’s a real risk people are rationing their energy and sitting in cold, dark homes.
“Meanwhile, foodbank advice is at an all-time high. That’s the sickening reality of this crisis, people can’t afford their essential bills and start to cut back elsewhere.”
Although inflation is forecast to fall during 2023, CAS is concerned that the UK will be left with much more widespread levels of problem debt and poverty once the cost of living crisis ends.
In January, CAS figures suggested that over a million Scottish adults had recently cut back their spending on groceries so they could better afford to pay their energy bills.
Throughout the winter, Scots have also been reducing the frequency with which they use gas and electricity supplies because they’re worried about how high their energy bills might get and how they’ll manage to pay for them.
If you live anywhere in Scotland and you are worried about your personal debt situation then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Contact us directly to arrange a FREE and confidential consultation.
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