AN ANALYSIS of the impact of the cost of living crisis has “painted an incredibly bleak picture” of life in the UK, the SNP have said.

Harrowing figures published by the Office for National Statistics on Friday found one in 20 adults in the UK ran out of food in the last two weeks.

The ONS also reported that almost half of adults (46%) found it hard to make their mortgage or rent payments in the last month.

Around four in 10 tenants (43%) said it was difficult to afford their rent payments, while three in 10 (28%) mortgage holders said the same about payments on their property.

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The statistics authority also found that 48% of adults admitted to buying less food, while 5% had run out of food in the past two weeks and could not afford to buy any more.

The analysis also found that single parents, disabled adults and black, African, Caribbean or black British adults, were more likely to struggle to pay rent and afford essentials.

Poverty campaigners said the findings were “unjust” and “unacceptable” that people are unable to afford food.

"The Westminster-made cost of living crisis continues to hammer households right across Scotland,” Stewart Hosie MP, the SNP’s economy spokesperson, said.

The National: Tenants are more likely to be impacted than those who own their homes outrightTenants are more likely to be impacted than those who own their homes outright

"This latest analysis from the ONS paints an incredibly bleak picture, with almost half of adults struggling to make their mortgage or rental payments.

"However, the picture is equally as bleak when they go shopping, with almost half of adults also admitting to buying less food.

"With an election looming and a Westminster-made cost of living crisis hitting households hard, voters are crying out for hope - but both the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour do not offer that.

"Only the SNP are offering voters a real alternative through independence - which would rid Scotland of more economic mismanagement from Westminster, and allow us to build a fairer, greener, more prosperous future."

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The ONS analysis also said that renters had tighter budgets because they were spending less on essentials and food, and were also more likely to fall behind paying energy bills and run out of food.

Those aged between 25 and 34 are reportedly 3.4 times as likely to experience financial vulnerability when compared to those aged 75 years and over.

The data, which was taken over three months between February and May, showed that disabled adults were 1.9 times more likely to face hardship than those who are not disabled.

Single parents have also been particularly hard hit by cost rises, with over a quarter (28%) saying they ran out of food over the previous two weeks and could not afford more.

The National: Many have struggled to pay their energy bills and pay for essentialsMany have struggled to pay their energy bills and pay for essentials (Image: .)

That compared with 5% across all adults.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “These findings echo what we hear from our members. It’s unjust that so many people simply don’t have the income they need to put food on the table.

“Evidence showing households with children are more at risk of running out of food tells us that our priorities need to change.

“It doesn’t have to be like this. We live in a wealthy country full of resources and potential. Government and business can work together to create a well-being economy where people can get secure, stable jobs that pay at least the real Living Wage.

“And we can renew and restore the social security system that we built to support all of us, so that it provides incomes that allows people to buy the food they need and meet their other household essentials.”

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John Dickie, director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) said it was “unacceptable” that so many households were running out of food, and that the subsequent impact on children in those households is “massively concerning”.

“The current crisis is exposing an acute failure in our social security system, which should be there to provide support when people need it,” he said.

“It's vital that all the UK political leaders commit to restoring the value of benefits for families both in and out of work – starting with the abolition of policies which are driving children into poverty like the two children limit and benefit cap.

“Here in Scotland the Scottish Government needs to increase the Scottish child payment to at least the £30 a week promised by the First Minister in his leadership campaign.

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“It’s a much welcomed and vital source of extra cash for families, but it’s losing its value by the day as the costs families face soar.”

David Ainslie from the ONS said: “We can see that renters were among those currently more likely to be experiencing financial vulnerability.

“Our findings also show that lone parents, disabled adults and black, African, Caribbean or black British adults are among groups more likely to be finding their rent, mortgage and food costs difficult.”