Fears of a cost of living crisis are real as the coronavirus crisis hits the country’s economy as well as health.

Many people are worried they can’t afford rent and bills and keep upwith debt repayments if the lockdown continues.

A survey for Citizens advice Scotland found one in three in Scotland (34%) are concerned about their ability to pay for food and essentials.

READ MORE: Glasgow coronavirus death toll revealed

Almost four in ten (39%) of people with debt repayments are concerned about meeting those repayments.

More than four in ten (41%) of people who rent their home are concerned about being able to meet rent payments and 31% of those who have mortgages are worried about making those payments.

And around one third (35%) are concerned about paying for essential bills, like gas and electricity.

READ MORE: Fears that poverty will rise further

Derek Mitchell Citizens Advice Scotland, chief executive, said:

“These figures provide a stark illustration of what has been clear for some time, coronavirus is not just a public health crisis but represents a cost of living one for households as well.

“Our network helps hundreds of thousands every year and we have seen for some time the problem of people just about managing in our economy – people who are especially vulnerable to disruptions to their income or significant increases in bills.

“What is welcome is that both the UK and Scottish governments recognised these risks early in the process, announcing a vital package of measures to help people, from boosting Universal Credit to increasing the Scottish Welfare Fund.”

The Fraser of Allander economic think tank, based at Strathclyde University, in Glasgow has predicted the Scottish economy could contract by up to a quarter if the current lockdown restrictions continue for a three-month period.

The report found there is likely to be “a long road to recovery” from the impact on GDP from the coronavirus pandemic.

Heavy losses are predicted with the construction sector contracting by 40-50%, production by 25-30% and services by 15-20%.

In total, Scottish GDP could contract by around 20-25%.

Permanent job appointments across Scotland in March fell at the fastest rate since 2009.


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