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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Scots struggling to get by - and that's before furlough ends

 

Things could get much worse this summer

Many Scots are finding it hard to get by on their current income.

Around one in seven (14%) adults in Scotland are finding it difficult to live on their present income, according to polling for Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) from YouGov.

Research for the charity reveals 10% of people are finding it difficult, with a further four per cent finding it very difficult.

CAS is warning that these figures could steadily get worse over the summer and into the autumn due to the risk of job losses or income drops as a result of the furlough scheme and payment support measures coming to an end.

As of this month, employers are now required to contribute 10% of furlough costs rising to 20% in August and September before the scheme ends completely at the end of September.

CAS is encouraging people to seek advice from the CAB network, or online through the public advice site www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/ or the Money Map tool at www.moneymap.scot.

Last year the network unlocked £170 million for people in gains, and the value of the network was estimated at £245m in benefits to wider Scottish society.

Commenting on the research, CAS financial health policy manager Sarah Jayne Dunn said:  “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.

“Policy makers acted quickly at the outset of the pandemic to protect people’s incomes and help with costs, but 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.

“This will especially be the case if our wider economy is struggling to return to pre-pandemic levels, and employers are faced with making hard decisions on the future of over 300,000 employees in Scotland currently on the furlough scheme. The reality is that more and more people will be struggling to make ends meet every month.

“Help is available from the Citizens Advice network for those financially impacted by the pandemic. People don’t have to struggle on their own. Whether that’s advice from a CAB itself, checking our online advice, or our Money Map tool.

“We built the Money Map so people had one place that rounded up all their online options for increasing their incomes and saving on costs.”

 

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