Citizens Advice North Lancashire responds to the Chancellor's Cost of Living measures

  • Posted: May 27th, 2022

Yesterday the Chancellor unveiled a raft of measures on the Cost of Living Crisis.

Citizens Advice has been sounding the alarm for many months on the issue, calling for targeted help via the benefits system to help those on the lowest incomes. In the first five months of 2022 the network helped over 12,000 individuals in the North West with emergency support to foodbanks and fuel vouchers.

At our own branch, North Lancashire Citizens Advice, we have seen many case studies of people unable to pay their bills and facing impossible choices as a result, such as Client C who needed a referral to the local foodbank. He said "I just can't get my money straight. My bills are spiralling out of control."

The package announced yesterday targeted those in the most need, via the benefits system, with extra consideration given to those on pension credit or disability benefits in recognition that they are unable to work and who might have missed out. He also made sure that the help won't be wiped out by the benefit cap, and he confirmed that benefits will still increase by inflation next April as planned. These measures are hugely welcome and will provide relief to those on the lowest incomes this Autumn.

It is also a huge relief for the myriad charities in the District who help those on the lowest incomes including foodbanks and food clubs who have been seeing an increase in demand. 

There are still serious issues with the benefits system to be addressed including the high levels of sanction and deductions made by the DWP, the five week wait for money and the two child limit and benefits cap. However, today we welcome the measures taken - we know that this will make a big difference to the clients who we serve.

  • Posted: 27/05/22
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