1 in 4 Scottish workers struggling financially

24 August 2019, 08:30 | Updated: 24 August 2019, 08:37

stress, woman, work

About one in four Scottish workers are struggling financially, according to research for Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

A YouGov survey found 24% of 1,009 employed adults living in Scotland said they are either finding it difficult or very difficult to live on their present income.

Two-fifths (41%) of respondents said they are coping on their present income.

Meanwhile, 28% said they are living comfortably on their present income, and 6% said they are very comfortable.

The study was carried out online between March 12 and 23 this year.

In a similar study carried out for the charity in 2017, around 21% of respondents said they were finding it either difficult or very difficult to live on their income.

Also in that survey, which involved 881 employed people, 37% said they were either living comfortably or very comfortably based on their income.

The charity said the latest figures highlight a "continuing squeeze" on incomes from the rising cost of living, stagnant wages and cuts to social security.

CAS chief executive Derek Mitchell said: "These figures highlight the strain that people are under in Scotland and reflect what our advisers see every day.

"Many people who are in work are finding it hard to pay their bills and put food on the table.

"The Citizens Advice network in Scotland helps and advocates for hundreds of thousands of people every year, many of whom are struggling financially.

"We are able to give real support to these clients, we can check whether you are entitled to energy grants, council tax reductions or social security benefits that you are not claiming.

"It is surprising how often people can access new money they didn't even know about.

"We urge people who are finding it hard to get by to contact us today to make sure they are not missing out on money."

Fair Work Minister Jamie Hepburn said: "While Scotland continues to see strong economic growth and near record low unemployment, as well as record tax revenues, these figures are concerning, and underline the ongoing impact of the UK Government's welfare cuts and austerity programme.

"In 2018, Scotland had the highest proportion of employees paid the real living wage or more across the UK, and we are supporting more people into sustainable and fair work as a long-term route out of poverty.

"This includes investing £12 million by 2022 to help parents enter and progress in the workplace, and working to lift at least 25,000 more people onto the real living wage by 2021 through employer accreditation."