Financial security – or the lack of it – remains a significant challenge for families across Scotland. For many, the Covid-19 pandemic loaded greater pressure onto already strained finances.

Now, as we look towards a looming energy cost crisis and rising food prices, there is an acute need to help families manage in the face of rising living costs.

In this paper, we identify the largest costs facing families below a living income, set out the current policy approach for each of these areas, and discuss the potential for a universal basic services approach across new areas to bring more people closer to a living income. These include care, transport, information, food and utilities.