Citizens Advice Scotland launches new money map tool

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is today launching its new online Money Map tool to help people who have faced a hit to their finances beause of the coronavirus pandemic.

The tool launches as new research conducted by the charity found that almost half (47%) of people in Scotland have run out of money before payday since COVID-19 restrictions began.

The research found that nearly one in three (30%) of those people are seeing their finances worsen.

Polling for CAS by YouGov reveals that 18%of people running out of money before payday had no financial difficulties before restrictions began but are now facing issues. A further 12% did have difficulty before restrictions and now those problems are worse.

The research also revealed only 5% of people who were in financial difficulty before restrictions began have seen their circumstances improve.

The unique tool, hosted here and launching at 10am, brings together all the options for how people can improve their incomes and cut their living costs through issues such as housing, benefits and energy bills and directs them to online sites where they can access these options.

CAS will be promoting the tool through social media and commercial radio advertising.

Myles Fitt, CAS financial health spokesperson, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has meant a period of huge economic uncertainty for people across the country.

“Restrictions have been essential to defeat the virus, and frankly these figures would be even worse without a range of responses from policy makers like furlough, financial protections, payment breaks, and increased use of the Scottish Welfare Fund and Council Tax Reduction.

“Ultimately though, almost half of people have run out of money before payday since restrictions began, with nearly 1 in 3 of those people seeing their finances worsen during this time.

“Given how many people were on a financial verge before the virus struck, living from pay day to pay day and just making enough to cover essential bills, there’s a real risk Covid will push substantial amounts of people into debt and destitution.”

He added: “That’s why Citizens Advice Scotland is launching our Money Map tool, which brings under one roof all the helpful online advice and options that is out there for people who are feeling the squeeze on their finances. The tool is for anyone and everyone impacted financially by the virus and it covers a whole range of opportunities to increase income, cut costs and get in control of personal and household finances.

“While we would always encourage policymakers to go further in providing financial support policies it’s vital that people recognise they have rights and entitlements now, to help them get that extra bit of money that could make all the difference. Our Money Map helps people do that.”

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