ONE in five people in Scotland are running out of money before payday, a poll from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has found.

Results of the survey done by YouGov on behalf of CAS found that 9% of people always run out of money before they are paid wages, pension payments or benefits.

A further 11% run out of money most of the time.

The charity warned it is a sign of the growing cost of living crisis and reflects a five percentage point increase since last year.

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This is leading to a rise in demand for money and debt advice.

Myles Fitt, financial health spokesperson at CAS, said people are facing impossible choices on spending.

He said: “One in five people running out of money before payday is extremely concerning.

“A real issue here is that incomes simply aren’t keeping up with costs. Social security payments like Universal Credit effectively fell in real terms this year, and that was after the decision last autumn to remove the £20 per week uplift to the benefit.

“If people are worried or struggling with money we would encourage them to seek advice from the Citizens Advice network. That can mean our online self-help tools like or our public advice site, or from a local CAB.”

The charity is calling for more to be done to help in the coming months.

Fitt added: “Advice plays a key role and the difference it makes can be life-changing. One in five people saw a financial gain after getting advice from a CAB last year, and the value of those gains were a staggering £4400.

“We’re here to help, our advice is free, confidential and impartial.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “We recognise the pressures on the cost of living and we are doing what we can to help, including spending £22 billion across the next financial year to support people in Scotland and across the UK.”

The UK Government has also not ruled out imposing a windfall tax on energy companies to ease the effects of the crisis, despite strong opposition from several ministers.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has said the Cabinet is considering “all the options” to combat the cost of living crisis, including a one-off levy on firms which have benefited from globally high gas and oil prices.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has not ruled out imposing a windfall tax, but ministers including Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Brandon Lewis, Sajid Javid and Jacob Rees-Mogg have criticised the measure.

When asked about imposing a windfall tax yesterday, Zahawi said: “We will look at all the options.

“I, with the Chancellor, Prime Minister and Cabinet will look at every option.”

But he spoke about the impact this could have on elderly people, adding: “If you apply a windfall tax, (companies) will probably have to reduce or take away their dividend.

“Who receives the dividend? Pensioners through their pension funds.”

International Trade Secretary Trevelyan said the Government is encouraging energy producers to invest their profits in green alternatives rather than imposing the tax.

She told Times Radio: “As the Chancellor said, it’s really important that he’s able to keep everything under review.

“He has set out a very clear position that he wants these energy companies, as they have made unexpectedly higher profits because of these price hikes, that they use that to invest in the clean energies of the future.”

Meanwhile, Michael Lewis, chief executive of E.ON UK, has called on the Government to “tax those with the broadest shoulders”.

He said yesterday that approximately one million of E.ON’s eight million UK accounts are already in arrears, and this is expected to rise by 50% come October.

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Lewis said increasing Universal Credit payments and imposing a “social tariff” on energy companies would ease the cost of bills for those struggling to pay them.

Responding to E.ON’s arrears projections, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves renewed Labour’s calls for the Government to urgently impose a windfall tax.

She said: “These comments underline how tough the cost-of-living crisis is for families, and how Conservative delays will see the situation get even worse.

“The Government must act now, by bringing in a windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits to cut bills.”