Scotland is “a society in crisis”, declared the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in its new report which found that nearly a fifth of low-income Scottish households have already gone hungry and cold this year, even before we enter the winter months. 

The report, which surveyed 4,169 households in Scotland, indicates that 65 per cent of respondents had cut back on at least one essential item, with a quarter having cut back on multiple essentials.

On top of this, 44 per cent said they had heated their homes less, or less often, than they needed to, in order to save money

Almost half of households also reported having at least one form of debt, while a third of households had less than £250 in savings, with three quarters of these having no savings at all. Single parents were also twice as likely to have no savings.

Shona Robison, Scotland’s social justice secretary, has responded to the report: “Tackling child poverty is a national mission and we are doing everything we can within our limited powers and fixed budget to support those who needed.”

Robison added that the Scottish Government is “prioritising action to help households in need,” pointing to £3bn allocated to alleviating the effects of the cost-of-living crisis.

Write to us with your comments to be considered for publication at