Millions anxious about cost of living this winter, research shows

Citizens Advice Scotland have launched 'Big Energy Saving Winter', a campaign encouraging stressed people to seek advice.

Millions of Scots anxious about cost of living this winter, research from Citizens Advice Scotland shows iStock

Millions of people living in Scotland are worried about the cost of living this winter, new analysis from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has found.

The charity said data from a YouGov survey found 62% of adults north of the border are worried about overall price rises and how it will impact their living situation in the coming months.

This works out as an estimated 2.8m people in Scotland, which has a population of about 5.5m.

A total of 38% of Scots, which is an estimated 1.7m, said they feel anxious or worried about their energy bills costs, with the same amount of people sharing concerns about heating their homes.

Analysis of the CAS data, published earlier this month, also showed one in 10 energy cases the Citizen Advice Bureau network deals with also required food insecurity advice.

In response, the charity has launched Big Energy Saving Winter, a campaign which encourages people worried about energy bills and the cost of living to seek advice.

It said advice is free, impartial and confidential.

CAS chief executive Derek Mitchell said: “We are here for anyone who feels scared, alone or worried about bills this winter.

“It is easy to think there is no help out there for you, but CAB advisers get real results, on average over £4,200 for those who saw a financial gain.

“That can be life changing money for people and this winter it could be life saving money for people.”

He said people can seek advice in a number of ways, including one-to-one advice from their local CAB, or a range of online options including the interactive self-help tool Money Map, the Money Talk Team service or the public advice site.

Social justice secretary Shona Robison said: “We are very concerned about the hardship people are facing right now particularly with their energy bills.

“This is why we’re providing almost £3bn in this financial year to help households face the increased cost of living, including £1bn in providing services and financial support not available elsewhere in the UK.

“Through our funding for the Money Talk Team service, people can get free and confidential advice on boosting income, accessing benefits, and dealing with debt.

“I would urge anyone struggling with their finances to seek advice.

“The Money Talk Team is available across the length and breadth of Scotland, with advice accessible online and in all Citizens Advice Bureaux.”

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