Chancellor’s Autumn Statement must ‘pull all the levers to help’ families in crisis
By Research & Campaigns Team
Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. Commenting on the latest Citizens Advice cost-of-living dashboard* Dame Clare Moriarty, national CEO said: ‘Things are getting worse on pretty much every metric….The chancellor must pull all the levers to help shift the dial’.
Inflation is down and there is encouraging speculation about the economy turning a corner. Yet the new dataset reveals no let-up for growing numbers of the charity’s clients.
Nationwide core cost-of-living issues are still going in the wrong direction:
|Crisis support||Food bank and charity support referrals|
|Debt||Energy, council tax, rent and more clients with multiple/more complex debts|
|Housing||Huge shortfall in housing benefit levels, homelessness rising fast|
|Disability||People with disabilities and long-term ill-health hit hardest and numbers growing|
In Epsom & Ewell we see people with all these problems as reported in a series of research articles in recent months. Notably the borough faces a chronic shortage of affordable housing. This means more local people forced into temporary accommodation and an unwelcome impact on council finances.
In a strong message to the chancellor Dame Clare spelt out the policy measures needed to ‘shift the dial’. The Autumn Statement must:
- Confirm benefits will be uprated in line with inflation as normal
- Recognise current energy support is insufficient for many low-income households
- Unfreeze Local Housing Allowance to close the gap between housing benefit and market rents (or at least begin to).
As we assess the impact of government plans for all our clients, this will be a ready checklist for those struggling to make ends meet.
* Citizens Advice November data dashboard, presented at November public briefing, 14/11/23