As the country continues to report encouraging news in its fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish Government has today launched a road map that outlines when we may start to see a return to normality, not only in our own individual lives but for employees and small business owners in sectors hardest hit by lockdown restrictions including retail, hospitality and leisure.
The timing of the announcement coincides with a new campaign launched by Citizens Advice Scotland, who have this month launched a manifesto ‘Empowering people, supporting communities’ ahead of the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections scheduled for May.
CAS reported that almost 2 in 5 people who have approached their network for help with multiple debts during the pandemic don’t have enough income to cover all of their essential living expenses each month.
Their cross-party ‘manifesto’ asks the Scottish government and its challenging parties to consider writing off housing and council tax debts built up during the pandemic and asks for a review on fuel poverty support schemes so they are better targeted.
Earlier in the year Citizens Advice statistics in England and Wales showed that over 3,500,000 people in the UK are behind on their council tax payments, with an average of £800 council tax arrears.
A route to the beginning of normal life in Scotland
Almost a year ago today, Scotland was first placed under its first national lockdown, but today the First Minister outlined some key developments in Scotland’s plan to return to a normal life.
- During today’s briefing, Nicola Sturgeon says lockdown will start to be lifted from the beginning of April.
- Travel restrictions in and out of Scotland are scheduled to end from 26 April, but international travel will “not be achievable” before 17 May.
- Also on 26 April, cafes, pubs and restaurants can open until 8 pm indoors, but not serve alcohol. Outdoor drinking will be permitted until 10 pm.
- The aim is to have the lowest level of restrictions across Scotland by the end of June – that could mean physical distancing rules remaining along with number limits and table service in hospitality.
- Mainland Scotland has been in lockdown since 26 December last year.
- Hairdressers will start operating again from 5 April; gyms and non-essential shops will be allowed to open on 26 April.
- Schools will resume full time after the Easter break, which for most pupils will be mid-April.
- From 17 May up to four people from two households can socialise indoors in a private home or public space.
Becoming debt free is a journey
As the country continues to cope, many will need to deal with the impact of debt.
While many hundreds of people have already been helped in 2021 by Trust Deed Scotland, many thousands of individuals have been left feeling unsure about their financial future, particularly when their long term income has been left in limbo for such a long time.
With hundreds of thousands of people in Scotland still furloughed as part of the job retention scheme, and unaware that help is available to them with their unaffordable debts, today’s news will mean that more people are now looking at their own personal situation and hoping that they can now begin to plot their own debt free future.
Our experienced debt advice team can walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of all formal debt solutions in Scotland, let you understand the options open to you and finally allow you to make an informed decision on how you can plan your journey to becoming debt free.
For life after debt, trust us.