In the Herald today, we read:
‘A “disgraceful” number of Scots are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage – with the number rising by nearly a third in the last two years. That is the view of Shelter Scotland which commissioned research which found that around one in eight (12%) Scots are sweating over covering their accommodation costs – up from nearly one in ten (9%) when the same survey was done two years ago.’
The Herald and ‘disgraceful’? Why do they fit together so well?
Alongside the SSPCA, Shelter is my preferred charity. I’ve left hundreds of books, admittedly fewer kids’ bicycles and sacks of clothes, so I’m not having a go at them. However, as recently as 2016, we see Shelter England saying this:
So, 1 in 8 Scots are struggling to pay rent or mortgage while 1 in 3 were struggling in England when Tory austerity still had more years to go? I appreciate the two research surveys were not asking exactly the same question, but I feel sure they tapped into the same problem reasonably comparably.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has already, in 2018, pointed to an obvious reason for any difference:
‘The analysis also pointed to more affordable rent and mortgage costs relative to income than in England, with social rents being 20–25% lower in Scotland by 2012/13. As a result, poverty after housing costs, compared with before housing costs, rose by a smaller amount than in England.’