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Half a Million Scots Going Without Heat Daily as Poverty Bites

Tuesday April 18 2023


Nearly a half of adult Scots went without heat at some point over the winter, and almost a third had to skip meals, according to new research published by Christians Against Poverty (CAP).

Releasing the results of the poll, which also showed that nearly half a million people went without heat on a daily basis, CAP Scotland’s National Director said that ‘people throughout Scotland are feeling the impact of debt and poverty’. CAP has announced a new campaign calling on politicians and communities to put the fight against poverty ‘front and centre as our national mission’.

The YouGov polling showed that around 2 million adults in Scotland went without heat at some point, 488,000 on a daily basis; and that 1.3 million had skipped meals.

It also showed that 84% of people expect poverty to increase in the UK over the next year.

CAP Scotland’s National Director, Emma Jackson, said: “In a just and compassionate society, no one should be forced to go without the essentials. It is heartbreaking to hear of the toll the cost of living crisis is having on the people of Scotland.

“We predominantly support those on the lowest incomes who are being hit the hardest by soaring costs. Demand for our emergency aid is rocketing as requests for food and energy top ups are at an all time high.

“That is why CAP Scotland is launching a new campaign asking people to join the fight against poverty's grip on local communities. It is imperative that we all play our part. Starting with our new First Minister, we need to keep tackling poverty front and centre as our national mission. It is vital that everyone has a sufficient income and we no longer give with one hand and take away with another through harsh tactics, like deductions from those who can least afford it.

“To tackle poverty head on in 2023, we need to work together. We’re asking politicians & policy makers - energy providers, utilities companies & financial services - local agencies, faith groups and individuals to come together and keep tackling poverty at the heart of decision making. An end to poverty in Scotland is possible.”

CAP’s policy demands include commitments from UK and Scottish Governments to ensure benefits keep pace with living costs, a pause on deductions from benefits for public debt, and an increased push to reduce unclaimed social security benefits.

CAP, which provides free, community-based debt help, is also raising awareness of its services. Mrs Jackson added: “Problem debt can happen to anyone and free professional debt help is needed now more than ever. Join us in raising awareness of CAP’s services so anyone who needs help can find it. Find out more on www.capuk.org/debthelp


Life and Work is the magazine of the Church of Scotland. Subscribe here.


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