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300,000 people in Scotland missed a housing payment in the last year

Almost 300,000 people in Scotland have missed a rent or mortgage payment after running out of money in the past year, new analysis from Citizens Advice Scotland reveals.

Polling for Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) by YouGov found that one in three – around 1.4 million – people in Scotland ran out of money before pay day at least once in the last year.

Of those people, one in five have missed a rent or mortgage payment as a result. Based on population estimates, that works out to 298,200 people missing a housing payment at least once after running out of money.

The research defines ‘pay day’ as including payment day for pensions and benefits and shows the extent of financial insecurity across the country. 

As part of their Our Advice Adds Up campaign, CAS is encouraging people to seek advice to maximise their incomes and cut their bills.

With prices in the shops rising, furlough ending, Universal Credit set to be cut by £20 per week and the energy bills set to rise in October the charity is concerned more and more people will face squeezed incomes and higher bills.

People can seek advice from the CAB network, or online through the public advice site or the Money Map tool.

Last year the network unlocked £147 million for people, and the value of the network was estimated at £245million in benefits to wider Scottish society. 

The Scottish CAB network also helped people with housing advice over 50,000 times in the last year.

CAS Social Justice Spokesperson Nina Ballantyne said:

“People across the country are facing increasingly difficult choices when it comes to bills as a result of squeezed or cut incomes.

“This issue will only get worse if the end of furlough leads to a large spike in unemployment and Universal Credit is cut by £20 per week.

“Housing became one of the largest issues the CAB network gave advice on last year, and it’s hugely worry that people have had to miss housing payments as a result of a lack of money.

“If you are struggling and need advice during these uncertain times, the CAB network can help. People can get advice to boost their incomes or cut their costs from their local CAB, our public advice site our or money map tool, and people can find out more here.

“We’ve been helping people for over 80 years and our advice adds up.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

A ‘perfect storm’ for people

  • The energy price cap will increase from 1 October for the 15 million customers across the UK. Those on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see an increase of £139 from £1,138 to £1277. Prepayment customers will see an increase of £153 from £1,156 to £1309.
  • Universal Credit is set to be cut by £20 per week – equivalent to £1040 a year – by 6 October.
  • The furlough scheme is set to finish at the end of September.
  • Official figures show that the increase in the cost of living, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, hit 3.2% in the year to August. This is the biggest jump in prices since records began in 1997.