According to social policy think-tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) families are facing an "unprecedented erosion of household living standards" because of rising inflation and flatlining wages.
The report concludes that for the first time in more than 80 years people voting at the next General Election are likely to have a lower standard of living than those who voted at the last one.
The Finance Secretary hinted at the move to protect the living standards of Scotland's 570,000 civil servants, teachers, nurses, prison officers and police officers.
Such a move would reflect the SNP Government's strategy of putting as much clear political water between it and Westminster as possible in the run-up to the September 2014 independence referendum. But it would come an as yet unknown cost to the taxpayer north of the Border.
Trade union Unite – the party's biggest financial backer – has seen dozens of its members frozen out from selecting their preferred potential MP, and has angrily accusing the party leadership of succumbing to "Blairite pressure" following the move.
A new candidate is required to replace Eric Joyce MP, who resigned from Labour after a brawl in a House of Commons bar.