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Government report paints a 'bleak' picture for Scottish families

17 Aug 2011

The Scotland’s Peoples Annual Report, published today, shows that many Scots are still struggling to survive the continuing impact of the recession.

It shows for example that over a quarter of Scottish households (28%) have no savings at all, and that nearly a third (31%) have credit card debts.

Lucy McTernan, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, says:

“Many of the figures in this report paint a very bleak picture. But sadly it is a very accurate one. CABs across Scotland deal every day with people whose finances are so bad that they feel they have nowhere else to turn. We see the human reality behind these sort of statistics.

“The cost of living is going up all the time, but incomes are falling, as people lose their jobs or face cuts in their wages or benefit payments. So many Scottish families are being hit by this ‘double whammy’, which is destroying their finances.

“As this report shows, those who are worst affected tend to be those who were on the lowest incomes to begin with. If you have no savings and suddenly lose your job, how do you pay your rent or mortgage at the end of the month? The reality for many is that they have no option but to borrow, and so they get into a spiral of un-manageable debt, which only makes things worse.

“Its important that people know that support is available. The CAB gives expert financial advice to anyone who needs it, and our advice is always free, confidential and completely impartial. So if you are in debt or worried about your finances, come and see your local CAB, But come as soon as possible – particularly if you are in debt. If you delay that will only make matters worse.”

For more information, interviews etc please contact Tony Hutson on 0131 550 1010. NB This is the number of the CAS Press Office, for use by journalists only. If you are a member of the public looking for CAB advice please contact your local bureau.