MSP Natalie Don has raised concerns over an increase in demand for debt advice.
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has said Scots budgets are being ‘crushed’ as demand for money and debt help surged by a quarter amid spiralling costs.
The advice service said online demand for debt and money help was 25% higher in February than in the same month last year. As energy bills remained stubbornly high, the charity also issued help on gas and electricity 12,386 times in February.
David Hilferty, social justice spokesman at CAS, said it was a “historic moment” when demand for energy advice overtook that for universal credit in December, and it has remained the most asked about subject for a third month in a row.
Natalie Don, SNP MSP for Renfrewshire North & West, said: “There is a serious concern that people are struggling with the Tory created Cost of Living Crisis as seen by the surge in demand for online support for money and debt worries.
“This report highlights the impact that the Tory-created Cost of Living Crisis is having on households across Scotland. It used to be that more people contacted CAS for advice on universal credit but that has been overtaken by those seeking advice and support on energy concerns.
“The fact that more and more people are now struggling to afford their energy bills, despite living in an energy rich country, highlights that the current system only serves the energy companies who continue to rake in billions of pounds of profit at the expense of the consumer.
“With inflation still high and incomes remaining sluggish, there is a real risk people are going to end up in debt because they can’t keep up with everyday essential spending.
“What is vital is people who are worried about money and bills seek advice as soon as possible. This can be sought from Renfrewshire Council’s Advice Works service or by contacting Paisley Citizen Advice Bureau, both of whom offer free, impartial and confidential advice to everyone.”
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