The cost of living crisis has caused a surge in demand for advice amid a 'perfect storm' of rising prices and falling incomes. 

New data from Citizens' Advice Scotland (CAS) has shown that the online advice page ‘Struggling to Pay Your Energy Bills’ saw a 127% increase in views in February 2022, compared to February 2021.

The webpage is at its highest peak since April 2020.

CAS page ‘Get help with bills’ has seen an increase in views of 40% from January, and is at its highest since the end of March 2020.

There has been a demand across the country for advice for fuel debt, up 13% increase from January, and up 104% from February 2020.

In February 2022 CABs helped 21,828 clients with 87,734 pieces of advice, and the Advice for Scotland website had 222,725 users.

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CAS Financial Health spokesperson Myles Fitt said: “The cost of living crisis is squeezing household budgets to breaking point across the country.

"People are faced with a perfect storm of soaring prices and flat or falling incomes, and that perfect storm risks sweeping tens of thousands of people across Scotland into poverty, debt and destitution.

“What our latest data report shows is that even before the big rises in energy bills in April and inflation continuing to grow, people were already worried about dealing with the impact of the rising cost of living."

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CAB is urging people to continue to contact them for help and advice, judgment-free. 

Myles added: “We want to see more from policymakers to ease this crisis for people, but in the short term we would recommend anyone struggling with the cost of living to seek advice from the Citizens Advice network. 

“You can get advice from a local CAB, who offer free, impartial and confidential advice.

"Our advisers unlocked £147million for people last year through things like social security payments and employment entitlements.

"It’s a wraparound service too, so advisers can check lot of different things for you, and it’s all done with empathy and understanding. We don’t judge, we just help. 

“Meanwhile, if you’d rather go online our public advice site is used by hundreds of thousands of people a month, and our money map tool at rounds up all your online options to increase your incomes and cut your costs.”