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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Half of Scots are worried about debt


StepChange: "our latest research shows just how deep the impacts of the cost of living crisis are"

A new survey has found that one in two people in Scotland (47%) - equivalent to two million people - are worried about their financial situation.

The research also found that two in five (42%) people in Scotland, around 1.8 million, think their household financial situation will get worse in the next twelve months.

And over two in five (44%) people in Scotland say their overall financial situation has got worse compared to two years ago.

The polling was carries pout by YouGov for StepChange Debt Charity, and comes as the group’s latest client data for the final quarter of 2023 provides an insight into how the cost of living crisis is impacting Scots’ debt situations.

During this period, 35% of StepChange Scotland clients were in a negative budget, meaning their income is not able to cover their essential living costs.

The data reveals that a quarter (24%) of StepChange Scotland clients, who have a responsibility for paying rent bills face rent arrears, which has risen slightly since the first quarter of 2023 (21%).

A third (33%) of clients who have a responsibility for paying council tax bills find themselves in arrears, and three in five (60%) face credit card debt, the most common type of debt among StepChange clients.

As temperatures plunged to sub-zero in recent days, the proportion of clients in energy arrears shows little sign of going down. One in three (30%) clients are in electricity arrears, and one in four (25%) clients are in gas arrears, among those with a responsibility for paying these bill types.

Sharon Bell, head of StepChange Scotland, said: “We know the new year isn’t the easiest time for households and managing their budgets, but our latest research shows just how deep the impacts of the cost of living crisis are cutting.

“Households across Scotland are expecting their personal finances to deteriorate as the year goes on and when compared with previous years, many feel worse off, not better.

“For anyone worrying about finances this year, or struggling with problem debt, we are offering support in the form of free and impartial debt advice. We have support on hand to run through your personal budget, assess your position, and proceed with the best option available. It is always best to act quickly rather than to wait and suffer in silence. Debt happens and we are on hand to support you in dealing with it.”



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