You are here

Working Scots 'going without food' to make it to payday

Over a third of Scottish workers who run out of money before payday have gone without food for their household at least once over the last year, according to new figures published today by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS)

Polling for CAS by YouGov shows that 47 per cent of Scottish people in work run out of money before payday at least once in the last year. 

New figures published today show that, of those workers, 35 per cent have gone without food for their household at least once over the last year as a result.

The research is published ahead of the expected announcement from the Scottish Government for an income supplement later this week. CAS is encouraging people to claim the benefits they are entitled to, citing previous research showing people in Scotland do not believe the 'strivers and skivers' narrative around benefits, and strongly support the welfare state. 

CAS Chief Executive Derek Mitchell said:

“A rising cost of living, changes to social security and a prevalence of low pay, insecure work means that Scotland is facing unacceptable levels of poverty.

“The Scottish CAB network helps and advocates on behalf of hundreds of thousands of people each year.  Our network means we have a footprint in every community in Scotland and we are seeing too many people really struggling, even people in work. 

“The research data we publish today exposes the extent of that problem. Nearly half of Scottish workers occasionally run out of money before payday , and one third of those who do have had to go without food as a result. This of course doesn’t include those who are not in work, whose income is may be even less.

“This is an unacceptable situation, and it is clear that serious solutions are required. We hope to see progress on the income supplement this coming week as well as the right to food being enshrined in Scots law through the Good Food Nation Bill this parliament.

“In the meantime, people need to know that their local Citizens Advice Bureau is there to help them, we can ensure people are getting the social security  payments they are entitled to as well as check if they could be paying lower bills for utilities and council tax.

“The vast majority of people in Scotland support the principles of our welfare state, that we all pay in and get support when we need it.”



All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. 
Consumer Tracker Survey 2019: Total sample size was 2,078 adults, of which 983 are workers. Fieldwork was undertaken 12th – 23rd March, 2019.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).

How often, if at all, would you say you run out of money before pay-day?
Base: all Scottish workers (983)
12%       Always
13%       Most of the time
22%       Sometimes
22%       Rarely
27%       Never
1%         Don’t know
2%         Prefer not to say

Thinking specifically about the past year (i.e. since early March 2018)...How often, if at all, have you had to miss and/ or go without food for your household because you ran out of money?
Base: all Scottish workers who have run out of money before payday (458)
60%       Never
26%       Once or twice
4%         3 to 6 times
5%         More than 6 times
4%         Don’t know/Not applicable

Myth-busting on benefits
Previous polling by YouGov for CAS released earlier this year shows over three quarters of people in Scotland believe workers who have to claim benefits work hard but their wages are not enough to cover living costs.
The polling also found that three quarters of respondents either strongly agree or tend to agree that people who are in work and receive benefits work just as hard as everyone else, and almost seven-tenths of people agree that there should be more help for people to claim what they are entitled to.
The detailed figures available on request.






CAB tags