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The cost of living crisis

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22 June 2022

Why is there a crisis?

Global economic factors, the Pandemic and the war in Ukraine coupled with an energy hike and the highest increase in inflation for 30 years has led to the current crisis.

All these factors mean a drop in ‘real wages’, in other words, your money doesn’t go as far as it did. This also applies to the ‘real value’ of benefit payments, which are not currently being increased to keep up with the rate of inflation.

A typical household will see a fall in income of over £1,000 in the coming year. Whilst this crisis will affect everyone, whatever their income, lower income households will be hit the hardest. This is because these households spend proportionally more of their total household costs on food and fuel, and have less financial resilience to deal with the added expense.

The reality of this crisis is that many people will need to look at ways of reducing their spending to manage rising prices. This could mean cutting out non-essential services, changing shopping habits, adopting new budgeting habits and self-limiting the use of essentials like energy.

How can the Charity help?

The Charity for Civil Servants offers services to help with wellbeing, managing money, health and caring responsibilities. These are available through digital tools and apps, one-to-one advice with our team of experts and our partner organisations.

Financial wellbeing is vital during this crisis and the Charity has a number of free tools available on our website to help you budget efficiently. If you are struggling with unmanageable debt you can request an appointment with a money adviser through our portal and talk through your options to help you get your finances under control. Our money advisers can also look at targeted grants towards priority debts like rent, mortgage, energy and council tax.

If you have an unexpected need which could be due to a change in circumstances like household bills or repairs, household items such as carpets and flooring, advance rent and deposit or an emergency issue where you have no money for food or travel, the Charity may be able to help. The Charity can give a wide range of financial assistance to help you through difficult times.

Help for people in England

Map of England

What can you do?
Making sure your household is claiming all the support you are entitled to is a key factor. The government has extended its Household Support Fund offering one-off grants for essentials such as food, clothing and utilities. This is distributed by Local Authorities and will now run until September 2022 supporting vulnerable households.

Local Authorities are also distributing £150 Cost of Living payment to households banded A-D. Local Authority support varies and you should check exactly what is available in your area.

Help for people in Northern Ireland

Map of Northern Ireland

What can you do?
Making sure your household is claiming all the support they are entitled to is a key factor. The Northern Ireland Executive is making one-off payments of £200 to households struggling with the rising cost of energy. This is available through the Energy Payment Support Scheme and targets vulnerable households in receipt of some specific benefits including Pension Credit, Universal Credit, Income-Based JSA and ESA and Income Support.

Help for people in Scotland

Map of Scotland

What can you do?
Making sure your household is claiming all the support that you are entitled to is a key factor. Scottish Government is providing £150 (Cost of Living Award) to all households banded A-D in addition to those in receipt of Council Tax Reduction. This means 73% of Scottish households are likely to receive the extra money through their Local Authority.

Scottish Welfare can provide Crisis or Community Care Grants for some households in financial hardship and, if you had registered before the end of March, you may also get help with energy bills through the Home Heating Support Fund.

Help for people in Wales

Map of Wales

What can you do?
Making sure your household is claiming all the support you are entitled to is a key factor. Lower income households can receive up to £350 to help with rising costs and in some cases you may be entitled to apply for the Discretionary Assistance Fund through the Welsh Government. This could be emergency assistance for essential household payments or individual assistance to help you or someone you care for live independently with essential household goods.

All households banded A-D will receive £150 Cost of Living payment via their Local Authority covering a broad base of households.

Give us a call...

For confidential support and advice call 0800 056 2424 Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm