Eight in 10 parents in Scotland are worried about paying for gas and electricity over the next year, a poll has found.
Research also suggested that 65% of parents were concerned about paying for food over the next year, while 69% were concerned about paying for petrol.
It found that the cost-of-living crisis had already affected how parents and carers were able to manage this summer, with 54% worrying about being able to pay for activities for their child over the school holidays.
Some 49% said they were concerned about the effects of the crisis on their children’s mental health.
Parents also expressed concern at the long-term impact of the pandemic, with 53% worried about the time their child lost in education due to nursery or school closures.
A total of 80% said they were “very” or “fairly” concerned about paying for gas and electricity over the next year.
Families are caught in a perfect storm of consequences from both the legacy of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. They need more support now to help manage the months ahead
Adam Lang, Nesta in Scotland
Adam Lang, head of Nesta in Scotland, said: “These findings are stark and deeply alarming. It’s clear that families across Scotland are at a financial cliff edge.
“With this many people worried both about their children’s mental health and being able to pay for basic human necessities like warmth, food and transport, urgent action is needed to mitigate the worst of this social and economic emergency.
“We need to see a response from both the UK and Scottish governments on a par with the pandemic.
“One that acts urgently to limit the impact of the energy price rises and mobilises support from across sectors to provide immediate and direct help for the most vulnerable.
“Families are caught in a perfect storm of consequences from both the legacy of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.
“They need more support now to help manage the months ahead.”
Governments must use all the tools they have so children don’t pay the price for this crisis
Claire Telfer, Save The Children
Claire Telfer, of Save The Children, said: “The message from parents is distressing and unmistakable – families across Scotland are at breaking point and scared it’s only going to get worse.
“There is nothing left to cut back on, the huge increases in the cost of basic necessities is going to have a catastrophic impact.”
She continued: “This crisis is on a scale of the pandemic.
“Government support for children and families should reflect that.
“We need urgent action now to alleviate this worsening crisis but also to build greater stability into the fabric of the social security system to protect families in the future.
“Governments must use all the tools they have so children don’t pay the price for this crisis.”