Despite promising forecasts, the cost of living crisis in the UK remains far from over. Don’t let the warmer weather and recent Cost of Living payments fool you; the crisis is ongoing, and we have the data to prove it.
Breaking Records in Advice Issue Areas
According to the latest Citizens Advice data, we continue to break records in 70 different advice issue areas. The crisis is real, and it’s affecting people on a scale we’ve never seen before.
Rising Rent, Energy Debts, and More
Record numbers of people are struggling with increased rent or mortgage costs, energy debts, and affording food or other essentials. It’s not just about paying the bills anymore; it’s about survival.
A Spike in Crisis Support
The crisis has driven a steep rise in people needing support for food and other essentials. We’ve seen food bank referrals and emergency charitable support more than triple between March 2020 and March 2023.
2023: A Year of Increased Crisis Support
In 2022, we helped more people with crisis support than in any previous year. However, so far, 2023 is shaping up to be even worse. Compared to this time last year, we are currently helping 21% more people with crisis support.
The Hardest Hit: Disabled and Long-Term Ill Individuals
While disabled people and those with long-term health conditions have been hit the hardest, the crisis is affecting a broad group of people. A record number of people in work have needed our crisis support this year, nearly three times more than in 2020.
Concerning Debt Trends
More than half of the people we’ve been assisting with debt advice from January to March this year are operating on a ‘negative budget’. With the highest number on record unable to cover their essentials, we’re on the brink of a household debt crisis.
Impact of Government Policy
Government policies like the Cost of Living Payments and the Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) have shown some positive effects. However, these measures are not enough to reverse the troubling trends we’re seeing.
More Help Needed
The first 2023/4 Cost of Living Payments for those on low incomes are on the way. While government support makes a difference, struggling households will still need more help.
Life is Getting Worse, Not Better
For many, the quality of life is deteriorating, not improving. The record-breaking figures from this year show that the cost-of-living crisis is far from over.
We stand by our commitment to offer support, advice, and services to those affected by this crisis. We encourage those who are finding it hard to get by to reach out for support from organisations like Citizens Advice. Remember, we’re all in this together.
1. Is the cost of living crisis over?
No, despite some government measures, the crisis is far from over.
2. Who is the hardest hit by the crisis?
Disabled people and those with long-term health conditions are the hardest hit.
3. What are some of the main challenges people are facing?
Increased rent or mortgage costs, energy debts, and affording food or other essentials.
4. Has government assistance been effective?
While it has had some positive effects, more comprehensive support is needed.
5. How can I get help if I’m affected?
You can find information and support on our national information website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk. For local assistance, please visit www.canosn.org.uk. All our support is free of charge, and you can also call our Adviceline on 0808 278 7906. If you’re in a position to help, we’re always grateful for donations. Details on how to donate can be found on our website or you can send cheques to Citizens Advice North Oxfordshire, 26 Cornhill, Banbury OX16 5NG.