David Woakes, Business Development Director at national support operation Auriga Services Ltd, says that the effect of the price cap increase and extensive increase in fuel and energy costs is already having a major impact on those in need of support.

Social policy campaigners are putting more pressure on the Government to help households, and we need to work together to ensure this issue remains of the highest priority so that those that need help now and with the continued cost of living pressures can be supported. Otherwise the social impact will be far reaching and include many that haven’t previously faced these issues.

The widening gap that is emerging due to the disparity between earnings and living costs is significant now for many households, and the team at Auriga is seeing this adversely affect families who wouldn’t ordinarily face financial hardship.

The Government has made some concessions in an attempt to support households by offering the £150 rebate via the Council Tax billing system and the £200 energy bills credit. However, this is only going to go a short way to mitigating the impact of the price increase.

OFGEM has reported that those on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see an increase of £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 per year (difference due to rounding). Prepayment customers will see an increase of £708 from £1309 to £2017. Many people are now facing a situation they haven’t previously and need support that they often don’t know is available.

Auriga are processing more fuel vouchers than ever before seeing an increase of over 40% year on year, and we anticipate this volume to continue even as the weather improves, but the price cap and fuel cost increases take effect, particularly to the vulnerable.

We have an experienced and capable team and are fully prepared to support new and existing clients and partners with holistic solutions.

Our flexible solutions can incorporate welfare benefit checks and realisation, debt advice and emergency fuel payments.

One of our main concerns is that individuals will resort to borrowing, to manage the increase in fuel bills, pushing more people into debt and fuel poverty. Auriga’s support for short- and long-term solutions to help towards reducing hardship and indebtedness is already seeing the increase of demand and is ever supporting new clients.

Auriga currently supports 1800 people a day, in line with our mission of changing lives every day. Given the current situation and future expectation we have more relevance than ever as we increase our capacity and solutions to meet the demand.”

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