In response to the UK Consumer Price Index annual inflation rate rising to 4% in January, Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, said:
“This rise in inflation means basic living costs such as food and utility bills are soaring at a time when many people are either having their wages frozen or are losing their jobs.
“People are already desperately struggling – with more than 200,000 people in Scotland so financially stretched they resorted to credit cards last year to pay their rent or mortgage while 375,000 took on extra work just to make ends meet. This latest increase will seriously threaten their ability to keep a roof over their head in the coming months.
Mr Brown continued: “We are also very concerned about the additional pressure rising inflation will put on the Bank of England to raise interest rates, potentially pushing thousands more into a spiral of debt, repossession and possible homelessness.
“For anyone who feels overwhelmed by their financial struggle it is crucial they face up to the facts and get advice sooner rather than later. Specialist debt and housing advice is available via Shelter Scotland’s website. Visit www.shelter.org.uk or call the free helpline on 0808 800 4444 and get impartial and expert advice now.”
Notes to Editors:
1. Average pay has increased by only half the rate of consumer prices. Total pay increased by 2.1% between Sept-Nov 2009 and Sept-Nov 2010 (Labour Market Statistics, January 2010) http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/lmsuk0111.pdf
2. Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity. Shelter Scotland believes that everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
3. Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.
4. For more information about Shelter Scotland visit www.shelter.org.uk
5. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterinscotland
Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland
Contact: Neil Baldwin
Phone: 0844 515 2442