North East MSPs Alex Salmond and Christian Allard have urged volunteers to assist the Aberdeenshire offices of Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).
Their comments follow the announcement made by the charity of a 77% increase in demand from people struggling to cope with debt and poverty in Aberdeenshire.
CAS’s 61 member bureaus, together with a customer helpline, form Scotland’s largest independent advice network.
During an emergency meeting recently, four Aberdeenshire Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) managers called for “an army of volunteers” to help the charity cope with the unprecedented rise in demand.
The number of CAB cases has increased by 77% across the region over the last three years with the amount of debt and benefits cases being particularly high. The increase in workload means the four Aberdeenshire offices – including one in Peterhead – are all stretched beyond capacity.
Christian Allard MSP said: “I am deeply concerned by the news that there has been such a large increase in demand in people seeking support from the Citizens Advice Bureaux in Aberdeenshire.
“The North East is an economic powerhouse yet the UK Government’s cuts agenda is forcing more and more people to seek help from charities.”