The cost-of-living crisis has left many of us feeling the pinch when it comes to our personal finances.
The good news is that there are various sources of support being made available to assist Scottish consumers who are struggling with their various costs.
Energy Price Guarantee (Energy Costs)
The UK Government has announced the ‘Energy Price Guarantee’ – a freeze on energy costs for two years, from the 1st of October, in essence meaning that a price cap of £2,500 will be in place.
In addition to this, the £400 energy rebate that was previously announced will still be paid to all UK households. The first payment of £66 will be paid in October, with a further £66 paid in November, followed by £67 monthly until March 2023.
Support for tenants who are struggling
The Scottish Government also announced emergency legislation in response to the cost-of-living crisis which will be introduced to create a moratorium on evictions for tenants this winter, and a rent freeze that will last until at least the 31st of March 2023.
A moratorium on evictions prevents eviction from rented property, for both private and social tenancies for non-payment of rent arrears for its duration. This means that tenants are protected during the moratorium period, but action may be taken after it ends.
The rent freeze will take effect from the 6th of September, subject to parliamentary agreement, and the eviction moratorium details will be announced in the coming weeks.
This does not write off any rent owed, and arrears will still have to be paid back. It is strongly advisable to seek debt advice if you are struggling with rent arrears to ensure that action is not taken by the landlord after the moratorium is finished.
Support from Advice Direct Scotland
Advice Direct Scotland run a range of free services that can help Scottish citizens with the cost-of-living.
advice.scot provide practical and impartial advice on a range of matters, including housing and eviction and can also look into whether you may be entitled to any additional benefits that may be able to help. Advisers are available on 0808 800 9060 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm), or by visiting www.advice.scot, where you can also find our Knowledge Centre containing useful information on housing.
energyadvice.scot provide free, practical advice and information on energy-related matters to the citizens of Scotland and can answer energy-related enquiries. Our specialist energy advisers are available on 0808 196 8660 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).
The Scottish Government’s Home Heating Support Fund seeks to provide financial relief to energy consumers who are experiencing significant financial hardship and strives to provide this support to households regardless of the fuel or payment method used. You can find out more about the fund by visiting www.homeheatingadvice.scot.
moneyadvice.scot provide free information and support on a wide-range of debt-related issues. Our specialist debt advisers can work with you to assess your current situation, look at your income and expenditure and decide what to do next. You can call us on 0808 196 2316 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).
By reaching out for advice and support, or just having a conversation about our current situation, we can put ourselves back on track and take away some of the worry.