September 2022 | Fair Point | abrdn Financial Fairness Trust Newsletter

29 September 2022

Greater proportion of Scottish households struggling with cost of living crisis

I’m afraid if you’re looking for news to distract you from recent events in the UK economy, you’ve come to the wrong place. We were hoping last week’s mini-budget would provide further support to those facing hardship, but there were few gains for those on low-to-middle incomes.

Such support is critical. We have published research today which finds whilst 21% of Scottish households are in serious financial difficulties, in England that figure is much lower at just under 15%. Proportionately this means 40% more Scottish households are really struggling to make ends meet (that’s around 540,000 households).

In order to cope with rising costs, a greater proportion of Scottish households are doing things like cutting back on food and reducing their energy use.

What can be done about it? We have some suggestions in today’s Scotsman.

Read more on the research findings

Certain groups have been hardest hit by the cost of living crisis. One of those is households in which someone has a disability. Earlier this month we reported disabled households are twice as likely to be struggling with cost of living crisis. This was widely covered in the press, read researcher Sharon Collard’s article in The Conversation.

Read more on the findings

Both of these reports are part of our regular Financial Impact Tracker with the University of Bristol.

See all the reports in the Tracker series

 Project in focus – High Pay

High pay has been in the news recently with the lifting of the caps on bankers’ bonuses and the removal of the 45% tax rate. We have been working on pay ratios for a number of years, supporting the work of High Pay Centre to produce their pay ratios audits. Later in October there will be an event How to strengthen worker voice in corporate Britain? which will examine the case for worker voice in both improving the quality of workers’ lives and also improving the performance of companies.

Find out more by attending the in person and online event at 15:00pm on Thursday 27 October 2022.

Stat of the month - 4 in 5

The number of Scots who would support a minimum income guarantee.

Leading progressive think tank IPPR Scotland (in a project supported by the Trust) has revealed that 4 in 5 Scots (79 per cent) would support a minimum income guarantee.

A minimum income guarantee is a safety net aiming to boost incomes and reduce costs.

Read more

Participants needed

Changing Realities…

Might you know someone who can help with an important new project we’re supporting – Changing Realities. This is a partnership between parents and carers, the University of York and Child Poverty Action Group?

Changing Realities is documenting and working to change life on a low income during this cost-of-living crisis. Working directly with parents and carers who are most impacted by low incomes, they will together be pushing for urgent reform of social security. You can read more about the project here.

They are looking for new participants to take part. Specifically hoping to work with parents and carers on low incomes who have children under 19, who would be able to spare some time to document their experiences. It’s important to note that this is a genuinely collaborative project, and participants are able to do as little or as much as they like, as often as they like.

Please help spread the word and share their website with those who may wish to take part.

Latest Podcast

Cost of living

The latest edition of the Financial Fairness Trust's tracker found that across the UK one-in-six of all households (4.4 million) are now in ‘serious financial difficulties’, compared to one-in-ten (2.8 million) in October 2021 – an additional 1.6 million households. Our CEO Mubin speaks to Sharon Collard and Jamie Evans from the Personal Finance Research Centre at the University of Bristol, who carry out the regular analysis of the data, about the trends they are finding.

Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.


Pensions – employer contributions

On Monday 3 October, Nest Insight (supported by the Trust) are launching a new research report on the current employer pension contributions landscape. In this live event, we'll be asking to what extent a change in these structures could improve retirement incomes. Sign up here.