Monmouthshire Citizens Advice and the County Council are to be congratulated for their high profile campaign promoting debt advice.
Judging by new analysis from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on the impact of energy bills on households on low incomes after April, there will be soaring demand for this service.
The Foundation predicts that on average they will be spending 18 per cent of their income after housing costs on energy.
For single adult households on low incomes this rises to a shocking 54 per cent, an increase of 21 percentage points since 2019/20.
Lone parents and couples without children will spend around a quarter of their incomes on energy bills, an increase of almost 10 percentage points in the same period.
Whilst we hear a lot in the media of the ‘cost of living crisis’ and there are calls from prominent Conservative politicians for a pause in the National Insurance rise also due in January, the UK government remains silent about how this crisis is to be addressed.
Clearly, it is not only low income households who will feel the pain of the combination of increased energy costs, rises in the cost of food and higher taxes.
It’s high time this dysfunctional government got to grips with the crisis.
As well as addressing the threat to the wellbeing of so many households, they must intensify plans to reduce our reliance on imports of gas by investing more in renewables at the same time as reducing our demand for energy through higher building standards and urgent insulation programmes.
Our communities need more than debt advice!
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