Cost of Living Poll Showing Six in Ten Scots Worried About Affording their Bills this Year

Monica is urging local residents to access help and advice on how to cope with rising bills, following a new poll revealing that six out of ten people in Scotland are worried about affording their bills this year including mortgage repayments, monthly rent, and energy costs.

 

Among those in debt, a quarter said they owed £10,000 or more, while nearly a third of those with a credit card said they have used it more to pay for everyday costs.

Monica said:

“The figures found in this poll are upsetting but sadly not surprising. I encourage people who are living in Lanarkshire who may be struggling with the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis, to speak to Advice Direct Scotland to understand how they can help alleviate pressure.

“Those who have a fixed rate deal coming to an end may be worried about the financial implications of rising interest rates, that’s why it is so important to know that there is free independent advice available through Advice Direct Scotland. The free service can be contacted via the website www.moneyadvice.scot or on 0808 196 2316.”

The Survation poll for Scotland’s national advice charity, Advice Direct Scotland, also revealed that 17 per cent of those with debt have fallen behind in their repayments. Energy bills, credit cards, and council tax arrears were selected as the most common forms of debt for those in this situation.

John Baird, head of debt services with Advice Direct Scotland, said:

“This poll demonstrates the alarming scale of Scotland’s debt crisis. A majority of people in the country are worried about being able to afford their financial commitments over the coming year, and debt levels have increased for many. Many are using their credit cards for day-to-day spending, and we know that many households did this to pay for Christmas. As fixed-rate mortgage deals come to an end, there is further concern that more people will struggle with repayments in the months ahead. We urge people in Scotland not to struggle alone with their debt – our specialist expert advisers at moneyadvice.scot are ready to help those with personal finance worries who need a way of getting back on track.”

Among those in debt, a quarter said they owed £10,000 or more, while nearly a third of those with a credit card said they have used it more to pay for everyday costs. The poll also found concerns among Scots about housing costs, with 47 per cent of those with a mortgage worried about being able to afford monthly payments, and 55 per cent of those who rent their home expressing the same concern.

Around a fifth (21 per cent) of those with a mortgage said they are on a fixed-rate deal which ends in the next 12 months, in a sign of the challenges ahead amid rising interest rates.
However, the poll shows that 63 per cent of those who have fallen behind on repayments have not sought independent expert advice about their debt.

Monica Lennon is an MSP for the Central Scotland Region. In 2021, she passed the ground-breaking Period Product (Scotland) Act. Follow her on Twitter for recent updates.