Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) have commented on the latest figures on Household Spending from the Office of National Statistics (see link below), which show that spending has fallen for the first time in nearly a decade.
CAS Chief Executive Lucy McTernan said,
“These figures paint a grim picture. But really they are confirming what we already know, and CAB advisers are seeing it every day. Basic living costs are going up as incomes are falling, so people are struggling everywhere just to pay for the essentials in life – things like rent or mortgage, fuel and food. There’s not much left to spend on having fun.
“Only last week we saw the shocking figure that one third of Scots are living in fuel poverty because of huge hikes in energy bills, and CAS has recently revealed figures showing record levels of debt. The worrying thing is that this situation is due to get even worse in the New Year, with VAT increases, more job losses, likely rises in interest rates and cuts to welfare benefits. CAB evidence shows that those worst hit are those already on the lowest incomes, and the government really must do more to help those people.
“Anyone who is in debt or struggling with their finances should go to their local CAB and ask for help. We can’t promise to solve all your problems but our advice is free, confidential and independent, and our trained advisers will listen sympathetically and give you the best advice we can.”
The Office National Statistics Press Release is at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/fs1110.pdf
For CAS interviews, contact Tony Hutson on 0131 550 1010.