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CAS launches new 'Money Map' tool as half of people report financial problems due to Covid

Almost half (47 per cent) of people in Scotland have run out of money before payday since Covid-19 restrictions began, new research for Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has revealed, with nearly 1 in 3 (30 per cent) of those people seeing their finances worsen.

Polling for CAS by YouGov reveals that 18 per cent of people running out of money before payday had no financial difficulties before restrictions began but are now facing issues. A further 12 per cent did have difficulty before restrictions and now those problems are worse.

The research also revealed only 5 per cent of people who were in financial difficulty before restrictions began have seen their circumstances improve.

CAS is today launching its new online ‘Money Map’ tool to help people who have faced a Covid hit to their finances.

The unique tool brings together all the options for how people can improve their incomes and cut their living costs through issues such as housing, benefits and energy bills and directs them to online sites where they can access these options.

CAS will be promoting the tool through social media and commercial radio advertising.

CAS Financial Health spokesperson Myles Fitt said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has meant a period of huge economic uncertainty for people across the country.

“Restrictions have been essential to defeat the virus, and frankly these figures would be even worse without a range of responses from policy makers like furlough, financial protections, payment breaks, and increased use of the Scottish Welfare Fund and Council Tax Reduction.

“Ultimately though, almost half of people have run out of money before payday since restrictions began, with nearly 1 in 3 of those people seeing their finances worsen during this time.

“Given how many people were on a financial verge before the virus struck, living from pay day to pay day and just making enough to cover essential bills, there’s a real risk Covid will push substantial amounts of people into debt and destitution.

“That’s why Citizens Advice Scotland is launching our Money Map tool, which brings under one roof all the helpful online advice and options that is out there for people who are feeling the squeeze on their finances. The tool is for anyone and everyone impacted financially by the virus and it covers a whole range of opportunities to increase income, cut costs and get in control of personal and household finances.

“While we would always encourage policymakers to go further in providing financial support policies it’s vital that people recognise they have rights and entitlements now, to help them get that extra bit of money that could make all the difference. Our Money Map helps people do that.” 

People can still access advice from their local CAB through telephone or email. In some cases with vulnerable clients where no other form of advice is possible, some CABs will offer socially distanced face to face advice.

Notes to editors on polling

All figures from YouGov unless otherwise stated. The survey re-contacted participants from a previous sample which was representative of Scottish adults. 3,305 Scottish adults were surveyed in the earlier survey and 1,862 of those took part in this follow-up. Fieldwork for this re-contact survey was undertaken between 19th October and 2nd November 2020. The results have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults. 

Q2. Since the COVID-19 restrictions began how often, if at all, would you say you run out of money before pay day (incl. payment day for pensions; benefits; etc.), resulting in needing to use credit (e.g. credit card, payday loans etc.), overdraft facility or borrow money to get by?

Unweighted base


Weighted base




Most of the time








Don't know


Prefer not to say



Q4. Which, if any, of the following best describes your financial difficulties before and after the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions began?


Unweighted base


Base: All who have run out of money before payday since COVID


Not applicable - I had no financial difficulties before restrictions and have none now


I had no financial difficulties before restrictions but have some now


I had some financial difficulties before restrictions and still have some now


I had some financial difficulties before restrictions but they have improved now


I had some financial difficulties before restrictions and they are now worse


Don't know


Prefer not to say