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Three reports show times are tough for Scots families

Citizens Advice Scotland have said three separate economic reports released in the last few hours have shown how many Scottish families are struggling financially. They say these figures prove this is the worst possible time for welfare cuts.

The reports, published on 25 and 26 January, are:

  • The Annual ‘Cost of a Child’ report from LV= shows that the cost of raising a child in Scotland has risen by 3.3%, and that over three quarters of parents have cut back in family spending.
  • Asda’s Income Tracker showed that Scottish families are £15 a week worse off in December 2011 than they were a year earlier. (The UK average figure was £12 worse off).
  • Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) showed that there were 4664 insolvency cases in Scotland in the third quarter of 2011/12. This is a 2% increase on the same period last year.

Responding, CAS Policy Officer Matt Lancashire says:

“It is sobering to see these three different reports all published within a few hours. But sadly the trends shown here come as no surprise, and they are backed up by other reports almost every other day. Times are tough, and many Scottish families are really struggling to pay their bills and stay afloat.

“The VAT increase, high energy costs, and the rising price of food all mean that peoples’ money isn’t stretching as far. What makes matters worse is that household incomes are falling. So as a result, people are really struggling to clothe and feed their children, heat their homes and put food on the table. Many of them are getting into unmanageable debt. CAB advisers see such cases every day.

“Anyone who is in this situation can get free, independent help from their local CAB, and we will always do what we can to support such people. But the government also needs to take figures like these into account when considering their economic policies. Looking at these figures today, for example, we would ask Ministers: Is it really a good idea to be imposing further welfare cuts on these vulnerable families?”

For more information, interviews etc please contact Tony Hutson on 0131 550 1010.

NB The Asda and AiB reports were published on 25 January. The LV= report was published on 26 January.