Local charity urges more support as cost-of-living crisis mounts

Woman with laptop

Woman with laptop - Credit: Citizen Advice North Herts

Citizens Advice North Herts is warning that - without further government action - people risk falling into severe hardship in order to shoulder energy price hikes.

The local charity, which has seen the number of people needing help with energy debts increase by 41 per cent since last year, has found that:

● 16 per cent in the East of England are currently unable to afford energy bills, even if they cut back or fall behind on other essentials

● This jumps to 28 per cent of people after the energy price cap hike on 1st April

Citizens Advice North Herts is calling for urgent government help. Firstly, by increasing benefits in April in line with the current rate of inflation, rather than last September’s rate.

And secondly, by offering further support to prevent families once again choosing between heating and eating in October when the price cap is predicted to rise again.

Community engagement manager Catherine Bennett at Citizens Advice North Herts said: “The people we’re helping at Citizens Advice North Herts are reaching breaking point. The heart-breaking truth is that many have simply nothing left in their budget they can cut back on.

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"That's why we're seeing more and more people needing crisis support like food bank referrals and help with energy debts.”

Rosie Waters, chief executive officer of Citizens Advice North Herts said:

“At Citizens Advice North Herts, we’re seeing first hand that people’s budgets are being pushed to the brink.

“Current measures announced by the government don’t go far enough. Only 6 per cent of people across the region think the energy rebate will make a significant difference to their ability to pay their energy bill from October.

"If the government doesn’t at least increase benefits to match the current rate of inflation, many more households will be pushed to crisis point.”

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