People choosing between heating and eating are being urged to seek help after figures showed nine in ten people in Scotland are worried about food prices in the year ahead.

Research undertaken by YouGov found 94 per cent of respondents were concerned about the price of food in the next 12 months, with 53 per cent of those saying they were very concerned.

According to ONS figures for May 2023, food inflation in the UK currently stands at 18.4 per cent.

The worrying numbers mean concern grows for people when an unplanned expense is required month on month and Joe McCormack from West Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau explained the numbers are eye-opening.

He said: “Everyone is feeling the squeeze of the cost-of-living crisis, but the sheer scale of people worried about food prices shows you how food price inflation has really affected people’s household budgets.

“We’ve also seen research that shows around a quarter of people in Scotland regularly run out of money before the end of the month – which is also worrying in a time of higher interest rates.

“What this research shows is that a significant amount of people have really had their financial resilience ground down by the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, and don’t have the capacity to withstand a big, unexpected bill like the car breaking down or the boiler going.”

The vital independent advice hub - which closed its Clydebank office last year – is now based locally over the phone and online and Mr McCormack insisted his team were there to help.

 He added: “CAB advisers see far too many horrific examples of people having to choose between heating and eating, and warmer weather over the summer doesn’t mean that spending choices become easier. In fact, for families with children, it may be even more challenging.

“We would encourage anyone who is worried about bills and money to contact us on 0800 484 0136 or via our website Don’t wait until the bills pile up and you need to make one of these impossible choices, seek advice as soon as possible. Our advisers get results.”