Bills a growing problem for most families

NEARLY two thirds of families are finding it harder to pay their bills this year than last, according to new research from Edinburgh University.

The study found that 61 per cent of households with children were finding it more difficult to pay bills such as mortgages, rent, council tax, TV licence or landline telephones.

A third of households with children also said they had suffered a significant downturn in their finances over the last 12 months, a sharper decline than homes with no children.

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More than a thousand people across Scotland contributed to the research.

Sarah Morton, co-director of the university’s Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, said: “We know that the experience of living in poverty is overwhelmingly negative and has a range of impacts on families, including damage to health and wellbeing and restricted opportunities.

“Current and future changes to welfare are forecast to increase child poverty, as well as poverty amongst families affected by disability.

“By gathering research evidence on this topic we hope that those delivering services will be better able to reflect on how living on low incomes affects family life and well-being, and develop effective ways to support parents to manage the many stresses it brings.”