Why is problem debt growing in Scotland and why must it be a priority for government?
Scotland in the Red is our annual look at what life is like for Scots experiencing problem debt. We've analysed client data across every Scottish constituency to get a picture of how our clients were affected in 2018.
We believe there are nearly 700,000 people in Scotland in, or at risk of, problem debt. It's primarily a symptom of poverty, poor housing conditions, welfare cuts, ill-health, and insecure work.
1. We’re seeing more clients with Council Tax arrears
In 2018, 46% of clients were in Council Tax arrears. They owed, on average, £2,017 in arrears.
2. More clients are in debt because of reductions in income or benefits
In 2018, 25% of clients said a reduction in income or benefits was the main reason for their financial difficulties.
3. More clients are falling behind their household bills
The average level of electricity arrears has increased by 23% since 2014. In 2018, clients were an average of £826 in arrears.