The People's Panel - cost of living: research findings

Research findings from the 'People's Panel' on the cost of living from March 2022 to March 2023. This publication also details the background and motivation for developing the People’s Panel, how it was delivered and what impact it has made.

Summary points

  • The insights gathered over the panel events have been extensive. They are relevant to a range of policy areas and priorities in the Scottish Government. As such, the members’ experiences were included in a published analytical report on the impact of the cost of living crisis in Scotland.[19]
  • The members’ experiences also helped to inform the content of some questions in Scottish opinion polling. Questions were added on mental and physical health impacts, and the extent to which respondents were making major trade-offs or sacrifices. This builds understanding of the extent to which these issues were perceived nationally. [20]
  • The panel findings support wider research that has found low income households, with particular characteristics, are facing considerable challenges. This included households in receipt of means-tested benefits (and those narrowly ineligible for means-tested benefits), households who rent their homes, disabled households, households with an unpaid carer, rural and island households, single person households and single parent households.[21]
  • This research has also provided new perspectives on how people have experienced the interconnection between COVID-19 and the cost of living crisis. This “perfect storm”, has had significant negative impacts for people, communities, businesses and services. Members also shared novel ideas for support, to help bring people together and help communities heal faster.
  • One of the key strengths of the panel, was in the way it provided a bridge between policymakers and the public. Gathering these diverse perspectives, enabled policymakers to gain valuable insights into the real-world challenges faced by Scottish communities.
  • The principles of trust, respect and inclusivity were weaved throughout the panel setup and delivery (more details in the Method section). These foundational elements have allowed the panel to flourish as a platform for effective policy-making.
  • To replicate the success of the People’s Panel in other policy areas, careful consideration should be given to ensuring there are key decisions and priorities that will be informed by lived experience.



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