Lowest paid pay more for services - report
People on low incomes pay more than most for essential goods and services, according to new research by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).
Services like energy, telecoms and financial services can be more expensive for the poorest people, the research reveals, which has a knock-on effect on relationships, health and wellbeing.
The report, ‘Paying More to be Poor’, found those on low incomes are more likely to have pre-payment meters for their electricity and gas, use more expensive pay-as-you-go mobile tariffs and incur more charges for their bank accounts and other financial products.
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The research used Ipsos Mori polling which also revealed 43 per cent of those affected said they'd cut down on food as a result of rising utility costs, while around a quarter said they had cut back on social activities.
CAS spokesman Patrick Hogan said: “In our report today we make a number of recommendations about how to address this problem. We pledge that we will work together with those who supply essential services to persuade them to bring down costs and offer better deals to those on low incomes. We will also raise awareness of cost traps and the importance of making informed consumer choice.
“The market must offer better value for consumers of all income levels. Poverty should not breed even more poverty.”