Lancaster and Morecambe Citizens Advice call on government to help families in need
The chief executive of the Citizens Advice for Lancaster and Morecambe has called on the government to support struggling families more.
Households are set to see a hike in their energy bills this year, with a potential 50 per cent increase in prices.
With lots of families already struggling, the Citizens Advice fear this could be the tip of the iceberg for many.
CEO of Citizens Advice North Lancashire, Helen Greatorex, has called on the government to take action.
She said: “The government must act now to prevent the cost of living crisis from escalating further. The quickest and easiest way to provide direct help for those hardest hit will be through the benefits system.”
The charity, which has offices in Morecambe and Lancaster and offers free, confidential advice to all residents both over the phone, in person and via email.
As the major referrer to food banks in the area, the charity is particularly worried about people who are living on very low incomes who may face impossible choices to afford the basics.
Universal Credit was cut in October 2021, just as energy prices started to rise.
"We know that there will be some people who face the choice between heating and eating," Helen said. "For people who are unwell and particularly need to keep warm due to disability or sickness, it's imperative that the government acts so that vulnerable people can afford to keep their homes warm."
The charity can make referrals to the Household Support fund which is being administered by Lancaster City Council and is available until the end of March 2022.
It can also assist with benefit checks, advice, support with benefit applications, debt, housing issues, employment problems and more.
Citizens Advice North Lancashire is free, confidential and available every weekday on 0808 278 7882 or by emailing [email protected]