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Three million Scots slash spending due to surging energy bills, research finds

Analysis shows a million people have cut back their spending significantly to pay for essentials like energy (PA)
Analysis shows a million people have cut back their spending significantly to pay for essentials like energy (PA)

More than three million people have cut back on their spending as a result of energy bills in the past year, analysis suggests.

The analysis by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) of research from polling company YouGov also shows more than a million people have cut back their spending significantly in response to rising costs.

The charity is running a campaign called “Worried this winter”, which encourages members of the public struggling with their bills to seek advice from the network.

People can visit the CAB website to check online advice, use money-saving services, or to find their local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for one-to-one support.

CAS said the average gain people saw after seeking energy-related advice from its network was more than £400. Advice gains generally for those who saw a benefit was more than £3,700.

Chief executive Derek Mitchell said: “The amount of people cutting back significantly on their spending as a result of soaring energy bills should be a real concern for policy makers.

“We won’t see inclusive growth in our economy while consumers have reduced purchasing power because of higher bills and flat or falling incomes.

“Even more concerning is what people are cutting back on. CAB advisers across the country are sadly all too familiar with people facing impossible choices when it comes to their spending.

“Do they pay the rent, buy food for their kids or turn the heating on? In many cases there is only enough money for two of those options, in some awful cases there isn’t enough for one.

“The CAB network gets incredible results for people. Last year the average gain for someone who saw one after seeking advice was over £3,700. That can be absolutely life-changing money this winter.

“We’re for everyone, regardless of whether they are in work or not, and you don’t have to go to a CAB, use our network.

“We have online advice pages and interactive self-help tools which can help people work out where they could boost their incomes or cut their costs.”