Citizens Advice urges more support as cost-of-living crisis mounts in Shropshire
Citizens Advice Shropshire is warning that – without further government action – people across Shropshire 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 21% since last year, has found that:
- 19% in West Midlands are currently unable to afford energy bills, even if they cut back or fall behind on other essentials
- This jumps to 32% of people after the energy price cap hike on 1st April
Citizens Advice Shropshire 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.
Alison, Advisor at Citizens Advice Shropshire said:
“We talk to Shropshire residents every day and we have noticed a huge increase in people who don’t know how they will make ends meet. A typical working family, who were just about managing, are now needing to turn to Foodbanks to feed their children, and are falling behind with their household bills. The huge increase in energy bills feels like the final straw.”
Jackie Jeffrey, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Shropshire said:
“At Citizens Advice Shropshire we’re seeing first hand that the budgets of people across Shropshire are being pushed to the brink.
“Current measures announced by the government don’t go far enough. Only 7% 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.”