As we start this new year, many people across Scotland are struggling with the increased cost of living impacting all areas of life. The cost of a food shop has increased alongside significantly higher fuel and energy costs. The upcoming removal of the energy price cap is set to see prices soar.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Scotland is deeply concerned that many low income families will see their debts rocket as they struggle to afford the basics. CAP surveyed around 900 clients across the UK during the pandemic and over a third (37%) said they regularly had to go without meals. Over half (56%) had borrowed money to pay for food, clothing and other essential living costs.
CAP Scotland is encouraging more people to seek help with problem debt now and not to wait until things get worse. Their message is clear, it is never too early or too late to get debt help.
CAP Scotland’s National Director, Emma Jackson, explains why this is so vital: “Over the past year we’ve seen the devastating impact of the cost of living increase hitting low income families hard. Before getting debt help, many of our clients were having to prioritise which bills to pay. No one should have to make the impossible choice between whether to heat their home or feed their children but sadly too many people in Scotland are having to do this right now.
“Too often shame and stigma keep people trapped in problem debt, 50% of CAP clients wait for over a year to get debt help. We are urging everyone who is struggling with problem debt not to wait until things hit crisis point. CAP Scotland provides free, professional and community based debt help. Our Debt Coaches can meet you in the comfort of your own home and stay with you every step of the way until you become debt free.
“Many other trusted debt help charities are also offering vital support with free debt help, including Citizens Advice Scotland and StepChange. The most important thing isn’t which charity someone chooses to call, it’s just making the call for help as soon as possible.”