Certainty on energy bills, but ‘damage already done’ for many households
Money Advice Trust responds to the Chancellor’s Spring Budget.
Posted March 15, 2023
The Money Advice Trust has today welcomed measures outlined in the Chancellor’s Budget to help households struggling with rising energy costs, including the extending of the Energy Price Guarantee, but has called for more support to help people who are already behind on their energy bills.
Findings from a survey of callers to the charity’s National Debtline service show that a quarter (25 percent) of respondents are already behind on their energy bills, and 62 percent are worried about being able to afford their energy costs.
Joanna Elson CBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said:
“This Budget gives households some much-needed certainty on energy costs beyond April – and the decision to bring pre-payment energy meter costs in line with direct debits is also welcome, if long overdue.
“The hope of inflation falling so significantly this year will come as a relief to those struggling – but for many households the damage is already done. Millions who are already behind on their energy and other bills are going to need further support to get through this cost-of-living crisis.
“The government should consider dedicated funding to write off energy debts for people facing unaffordable repayments, and payment matching to help people pay off their debts more quickly – to help the millions worrying about what the months ahead will bring.
“I would encourage anyone worried about their finances to contact National Debtline or Business Debtline.”
National Debtline provides free, independent debt advice at www.nationaldebtline.org
Business Debtline provides, free independent advice for self-employed people and small business owners at www.businessdebtline.org