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Scots choosing to heat not eat as living costs increase

This news post is over 1 year old

As winter bites Scots can't afford to heat and eat

Over one million adults in Scotland are estimated to have cut back on groceries because of rising energy bills, new analysis from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has found.

Analysis by the charity of polling from YouGov found that out of the adults in Scotland who had to cut their household spending due to soaring energy costs, 61% (equivalent to 1.3 million) have cut back on groceries.

Meanwhile, 66% of them (an estimated 1.4 million) have cut back on eating or drinking out, and 57% (equivalent to 1.2 million) have cut back on ordering takeout.

In addition to this, 51% of adults in Scotland who cut back on spending (an estimated 1.1 million people) are doing so by cooking less with gas or electric appliances.

Previous data from Citizens Advice Scotland found that 1 in 10 cost of living energy related cases across the Citizens Advice network also required food insecurity advice.

Citizens Advice Scotland Social Justice spokesperson David Hilferty said: “The cost of living crisis is seeing people having to make increasingly difficult household spending decisions, and we see that lots of people are cutting back on food in various ways because of rising energy bills.

“For many people that might mean skipping a takeaway or a meal in a restaurant, but for others it will be a straight choice between heating and eating.

“It is worth understanding that food inflation is another major factor of the cost of living crisis, so even if people are buying less food, they are likely paying more to do so. This is especially the case for those on the lowest incomes.

“We know there is an overlap in people coming to a CAB for energy advice and needing help with food insecurity – in fact that happens in 1 in 10 cases."

The charity is running Big Energy Saving Winter, a campaign encouraging people to seek advice if they are worried about the cost of living and energy bills this winter.