Businesses are being urged not to neglect financial support services for the public, following news of falling inflation and the latest energy price cap.

UK inflation has fallen 2.3%, according to the latest figures – the lowest level in almost three years – while energy prices fell by 27.1% in the 12 months to April 2024. Despite this, energy prices remain higher than pre-pandemic rates. 

Now, consumer grants and welfare provider, Auriga Services is putting the spotlight on the need for ongoing consumer support.

Jill Wheeler, chief executive at Auriga said: “While the news of falling inflation is positive and will provide relief for many, the concerns of struggling households won’t go away overnight. Sadly, financial challenges can be significant and long-lasting.”

The latest energy price cap – the maximum chargeable rate for each unit of gas and electricity – is to fall by 7% from 1 July to 30 September 2024, compared to the previous quarter. However, reports indicate that gas and electricity bills remain ‘historically high’.

Auriga’s own financial figures illustrate the scale of the ongoing financial crisis. In the 12 months to April 2024, more than half a million (552,575) people across the UK accessed the organisation’s financial support services – a 30% increase year-on-year. Referrals for Auriga’s debt advice service increased by 61%, and more than £18.6m worth of emergency fuel vouchers were issued.

Jill added: “Just because inflation has fallen, doesn’t mean energy bills are suddenly cheap and affordable. In reality, energy prices are still higher than they were pre-pandemic. Therefore, businesses cannot rest on the laurels when it comes to consumer support services. I’d go as far as to say that now may be the time to double down on commitments to supporting the public.

“Thinking long-term, reductions in energy prices during the summer are sadly unlikely to significantly benefit finances, as we’re not heavily relying on our home heating systems at this time of year. Therefore, as we head into the autumn, financial challenges could quickly be exacerbated.”

For further information on how your business can help those in financial crisis, contact clientsolutions@aurigaservices.co.uk or 0121 362 3607.

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