Help with personal independence payments tops list of most pressing cost-of-living problems in region
- People in South Gloucestershire are increasingly contacting Citizens Advice with cost-of-living problems as the charity experiences record demand
- Help with personal independence payments, charitable support and food banks, energy and council tax topped the list of pressing problems
- Citizens Advice said the crisis is “far from over”
Help with personal independence payments was the most urgent cost-of-living problem for people in South Gloucestershire in the last quarter.
And there was a 70 per cent rise in people coming forward with energy problems compared to the year before.
Citizens Advice said the crisis is “far from over”. The charity is publishing data on the most pressing cost-of-living (COL) problems in local authority areas across England and Wales.
In South Gloucestershire – covered by Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire – 618 people came forward in the last three months.
This compares to 542 clients with COL problems the year before – an increase of 14 per cent.
Most pressing problems
The most pressing problem for people in South Gloucestershire was needing help making personal independence payment (PIP) claims.
These cover living costs for people who need help as a result of an illness, disability or mental health condition. People also need help appealing unfair PIP decisions.
A total of 184 people asked for help for this in the last three months compared to 168 last year.
Meanwhile, 107 required help with energy problems, up from 63 the year before – a 70 per cent increase.
Other most pressing problems were help with charitable support and food banks, council tax reduction and council tax arrears.
Over the past year, Citizens Advice has seen 1,963 clients with COL problems. Some 62 per cent were female and 38 per cent were male.
A total of 49 per cent of clients had a long-term health condition and 11 per cent were disabled.
The age groups who came forward in greatest numbers were 50 to 54-year-olds (211) and 30 to 34-year-olds (206).
Our CEO Chantal Watts’ comment
Chantal Watts, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire, said: “Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire has seen huge demand for its services over the past 12 months.
“Every day we hear from people in desperate situations, who are struggling to get by and have been pushed to breaking point by the cost-of-living crisis.
“We’re helping people on benefits, workers, families, pensioners and lots of people who have never needed to access support before.
“People continue to cut back on essentials in a desperate attempt to keep their heads above the water, this crisis is far from over.”
- Anyone in South Gloucestershire seeking free, independent, impartial and confidential advice from Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire can call 0808 278 7947 or visit: www.southgloscab.org.uk
- Anyone wishing to donate to Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire to help it continue its vital work should visit: https://bit.ly/3kG7HyB