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Norfolk Community Law Service’s plea to chancellor

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is preparing for his autumn statement, and there is a call for him to prioritize supporting families through the winter by bringing down inflation and boosting incomes. There is a growing demand for advice and support services in Norfolk, particularly in areas such as debt, housing, and access to essential items like food and shelter. The cost of essentials such as energy, water, rent, and other basic needs has skyrocketed, leading to financial struggles for many households. Additionally, disabled individuals face extra costs related to their conditions, such as equipment and prescriptions. While one-off payments from the government have provided temporary relief, they are not sufficient to address the long-term impact of high prices and inadequate state support.

The rising cost of essentials has led to financial strain for many individuals and families, pushing them into debt. This has resulted in a negative budget for over half of the people seeking debt advice, with their monthly income not enough to cover essential bills. The gap between the level of state support and the actual cost of living is substantial, leaving many individuals unable to afford basic necessities. As a result, people are encountering overwhelming debt collectors and struggling to make ends meet, which can have a significant impact on their physical and mental well-being. This cycle of debt and financial instability also makes it difficult for individuals to maintain or secure employment.

Despite the potential fall in inflation, there are concerns about the support provided to disabled individuals, with rumors of potential tax giveaways for the wealthiest families. The message is clear that in order to address the crisis, it is crucial to ensure that the finances of all households, especially those with low incomes, are in a sustainable position. The organizations and charities in Norfolk are working hard to support individuals facing financial difficulties, but there is a pressing need for sustained and adequate support from the government to address the root causes of the financial struggles being faced by many individuals and families in the region.

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