SCOTLAND'S poorest households are paying £1,300 a year more than their wealthier neighbours for everyday goods and services.

SCOTLAND'S poorest households are paying £1,300 a year more than their wealthier neighbours for everyday goods and services.

The figure is highlighted in Food, Fuel, Finance, a report to be published today by a coalition of churches and charities.

The report draws on a year of grassroots research conducted in Glasgow and charts the so-called "poverty premium"; the high prices charged for everyday essentials including food, fuel, finance, furniture, and even funerals in the city's poorest neighbourhoods.

Food, Fuel, Finance calls for regulation and legislation to remove such anomalies and challenges the Scottish Government to develop a plan for tackling the "poverty premium" in partnership with communities.

However, it also describes how communities across Scotland are tackling the problem themselves through creative initiatives such as food hubs, community gardens and shops, and district heating schemes.

Martin Johnstone, chief executive of Faith in Community Scotland and secretary of Scotland??s Poverty Truth Commission, said: ??This report highlights what many of our poorest citizens already know. If you are poor then food, fuel, furniture and even funerals costs you more than if you have spare money in the bank. That is ludicrous but it is reality.

"It??s a scandal ?? a scandal that we must overturn, once and for all.

"Having read this report no politician, no business and no citizen should rest content until things are different.??

Niall Cooper, Director of Church Action on Poverty, said: ??It shouldn??t cost money to be poor. It is unacceptable for companies to exploit their most vulnerable customers by charging them the highest prices.

He added: "But it??s exciting and inspiring to see communities working together to make markets work for people in poverty.

"With real support from the Government and service-providers, we can tackle the Poverty Premium.??

Peter MacDonald, leader of the Iona Community, said: ??It is clear from this report, consistent with several others, that we are not ??all in this together??.

"The poorest among us are paying the price of austerity. This is morally and economically just plain wrong.??

All three organisations were involved in the research behind the report while extra funding came from Christian Aid Scotland, the Church of Scotland and the Episcopal Church in Scotland.

It comes after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he found the plight of British families using foodbanks "more shocking" than visiting refugee camps in Africa.

Writing in a national newspaper yesterday, Archbishop Welby said it should be made easier for UK food companies to pass on food they could no longer sell.

He went on to compare his experiences of visiting a refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, a few weeks later, meeting a family at a foodbank in England.

He said: "I found their plight more shocking. It was less serious, but it was here."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: ??It is unacceptable that anyone should be living in poverty in a country as wealthy as Scotland.

"We are still paying a heavy price for Westminster??s welfare reforms, which have increased social inequalities, and worsened the health inequalities that are deeply ingrained in our society. Our current and planned spending will invest around £296 million over the period 2013/14 to 2015/16 to limit the damage of Westminster??s welfare policies on Scotland.

??We will consider this report and its recommendations while continuing to help families access support and help to buy everyday items that many of us take for granted.