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  • Citizens Advice Scotland report exposes "frightening" reality of cost of living crisis

    Created: 24/08/2022

    A new report from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) details the breadth and depth of the cost of living crisis, with soaring energy bills driving “frightening” demand for advice around food insecurity.

    The charity is publishing a quarterly cost of living analysis looking at advice demand. It found that in more than 1 in 10  utilities cases, the client also required advice around food insecurity such as a food bank referral.

    Comparing the first quarter of this year to the previous financial year, the analysis also shows soaring views of online advice in energy areas such as:

    At the same time, online page views relating to cost of living issues has increased massively, with “Get help with bills” increasing 122%. The page “Struggling with living costs” has seen a 67% increase, meanwhile views of “Food banks and other crisis help” is up 33%.

    Across the CAB network itself, last year 26% of all utilities advice related to cost of living or income crisis measures. In the first quarter of this year that had grown to 35%.

    Last year 36% of finance and charitable support advice was food bank referrals or shopping vouchers. In quarter one of this year this had grown to 45%.

    The report also analyses demand across demographics and finds that council rented tenants and those out of work, or unable to work, are seeking advice related to the cost of living at higher levels than other groups.

    The charity is warning that this increased demand is before the impact of a “toxic cocktail” this winter of the energy price cap going up, higher inflation, and increased interest rates.

    More information here.

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