Despite the government’s recent freeze on energy bills, everything is pointing towards an incredibly challenging winter for people at the sharp end of the crisis.
As part of CAML’s research and campaigns work we regularly update and meet with local MPs and Councillors. In the past week we’ve been highlighting that the government must do more to support struggling families by confirming benefits will be uprated in April in line with inflation.
At CAML, we’re seeing record high demand from residents from across the London Boroughs of Merton and Lambeth including rising debt and welfare benefits support and referrals to food banks and fuel vouchers. Issues that usually peak in winter started to rise sharply in the middle of summer, for example people unable to top up their prepayment meters. We’re also seeing more people coming to us who are facing or experiencing homelessness.
Whilst welcoming the Prime Minister’s recent freeze on energy bills, which is providing much-needed support for individuals and families, rising costs are outpacing government support. If benefits fail to keep pace with inflation, a family with one child will see a real terms drop in support of £87 a month. This is a cut people simply cannot afford. The new Prime Minister and Chancellor urgently need to ensure people on the lowest incomes can make ends meet.
The attached briefing focuses on the national perspective across the Citizens Advice network.