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Quarter of Scots are losing sleep over financial concerns – survey

A quarter of people living in Scotland have said they are losing sleep over financial concerns amid the cost-of-living crisis, according to a new poll (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
A quarter of people living in Scotland have said they are losing sleep over financial concerns amid the cost-of-living crisis, according to a new poll (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

A quarter of people who took part in a survey about Scotland’s financial situation said they are losing sleep over money worries.

The survey, Understanding Scotland, interviewed more than 2,000 adults about their finances.

A total of 23% of respondents said they cannot sleep at night due to anxiety over the cost-of-living crisis.

This figure rises to three in 10 people in the most deprived areas of the country.

Three in five of those who took part said they are having to forgo heating, with more than a fifth having to skip or cut down on meals, the study said.

The survey also found 62% of those interviewed feel worse off than last year, and 59% think their finances will deteriorate.

Reflecting on the findings, Mark Diffley, founder and director of the Diffley Partnership, who conducted the survey, said: “These are some alarming results with no silver lining in sight.

“Our polling finds extensive and, for some, acute anxiety over a cost-of-living crisis that is hitting people across all parts of society.”

He said a majority of people in all forms of work say that their incomes “simply aren’t going far enough, and the picture is even more alarming for those out of or unable to work”.

The surging prices also appear to be pushing people into more vulnerable circumstances, according to the survey, with a third of people eating into their savings, and a quarter taking on debt.

The equivalent figures are even higher in deprived areas, at 36% and 32% respectively.

The report showed parents and larger families are feeling the financial squeeze, with 43% of households with children having taken on debt or borrowed money.

The poll also found 84% of people believe that economic conditions in Scotland have got worse over the past 12 months, and 77% expect this downward trajectory to continue.

A similar picture emerges with regards to people’s personal finances, which 62% judge to have worsened over the same time period, and 59% expect this to continue over the coming year.

Twenty-three per cent of people in the most deprived areas say their finances have become “much worse”, compared with 13% in the most affluent areas.

Susan Murray, director of the David Hume Institute, which partnered on the research, said: “These findings draw attention to the urgent need for action to help those at the sharpest end of surging prices.

“A quarter of people across the country are losing sleep because of worry about their finances and over half of people are cutting back spending.

“The potential long-term impacts on the nation’s health and economy are huge.”