Article from the June edition of the local Challenger Magazine
STRUGGLING WITH COST-OF-LIVING INCREASES?
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
At the end of March 2022 Citizens Advice research revealed that around 5 million people would be unable to pay their energy bills from April even accounting for the support the government had already announced. This number was expected to almost triple to 1 in 4 people in the UK – over 14 million – when the price cap rises again in October based on current predictions.
But it isn’t just energy bills which are affected – transport fuel, food, council tax, mortgage interest rates, water, child care, adult care, car maintenance, insurance, phones, internet and TV packages, clothing etc. are all affected at a time when INCOMES – wages, pensions and benefits – have (for most people) either not increased or have gone up by a lower amount than their outgoings.
These rising costs have all come at the same time, leaving people suddenly unable to budget properly for the sharp increases. These costs will rise further, and people will need help and support to deal with them.
At Citizens Advice locally we have seen an increase in those we see in hardship. We have supported people through advice and guidance in budgeting and checking benefit entitlements. We have distributed more food vouchers than ever before when the choice has been to ‘heat or eat’.
The negative impact of money problems on mental health and wellbeing is often interlinked and is becoming more apparent.
If you are struggling, we are here to help you
Citizens Advice provide free, confidential, independent advice whoever you are, and we have access to many forms of help. Please contact us by any of the means suggested below.
As well as causing significant financial difficulty, rising costs are opening opportunities for those who thrive on exploiting the anxiety experienced by others – e.g., SCAMMERS
£150 Council Tax Rebate scam is an example. Criminals are pretending to be calling from your local council and asking residents for their bank details so that they can receive this payment.
Councils are stressing that:
Never give personal details over the phone
If you think you may have handed over your bank details or made any payment to a scammer, please contact your bank and report the matter to Action Fraud on 0300 1232040
If you get a message that you believe to be fraudulent, you can report it to your mobile phone provider or by forwarding the message to 7726, a free reporting service provided by phone operators.
SCAMMERS ARE CLEVER, WHAT SHOULD I LOOK OUT FOR?
CITIZENS ADVICE MOLE VALLEY CONTACT DETAILS:
Both Dorking and Leatherhead Citizens Advice offices are currently open for limited appointments, please either telephone our adviceline 0808 278 7930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Contact East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services on 01737 771350 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Surrey Domestic Abuse 9am-9pm Helpline – 01483 776822
In an emergency always dial 999
CITIZENS ADVICE REIGATE AND BANSTEAD CONTACT DETAILS:
Phone Adviceline: 0808 278 7945 (free) to speak to an adviser (Monday – Friday 9.00 – 16.00)
Email: Use an enquiry form at https://www.carbs.org.uk/get-advice/email-form/
CITIZENS ADVICE WAVERLEY CONTACT DETAILS:
By Phone 0808 278 7980 (free) to speak to an adviser
By Email: use enquiry form at https://waverleycab.org.uk/get-advice/e-mail-form/ the easiest way to contact a specific office.
Office opening: https://waverleycab.org.uk/get-advice/visit-us/ Please check the latest opening hours before visiting as these can change at short notice.
South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Outreach Service: 01483 898884 Email: email@example.com www.swsda.org.uk