Free debt help charity, Christians Against Poverty (CAP), who partners with Victoria
Baptist Church in Eastbourne, is calling on the Government to take urgent action to
extend emergency support to the worst hit households ahead of the pending rise in
energy costs in April.

Following last week’s Ofgem announcements of an average £700, or 54% increase
in energy bills, CAP’s Director of External Affairs, Gareth McNab, said, “This is a
really difficult situation that will see us all paying more for our energy, but for those
on a low income or already struggling in debt this will be devastating.
“With the cost of living crisis, we are already seeing a rise in people coming to us for
free debt help. Sadly, we expect this rise to continue unless urgent action is taken to
ease the impact of the increase in energy costs and wider inflation.
“The support package announced by the Government today will provide some relief
to millions of UK households extremely worried about the cost of their energy bills.
However, we are concerned that this £9bn package of support only covers half the
energy price increase households are facing on average, and more assistance is
needed to stop low income households falling into greater fuel poverty.

“At Christians Against Poverty we have a number of recommendations that we’d like
to see the Government implement as soon as possible, to protect those low income
families who we know will be hit the hardest by the energy crisis.
“Key to these, we would like to see the £200 energy rebate the Government
announced today, paid in April, not October which will be too late for many
households struggling now. We also need a more significant increase in the Warm
Home Discount Scheme which is only planned to increase by £10 in Winter
2022/23. This would allow for financial assistance to be delivered quickly, and
provide those households with additional support right away.
“Alongside this, we are asking the Government for an exceptional increase in
benefits rates in April, from 3.1% to 7.25%. This will allow payments to keep pace
with the unusually steep rise in inflation, and help low-income households meet the
higher cost of living across all consumer areas.
“Most importantly, these measures need to be brought in quickly enough to help
low income households ahead of the energy prices rises in April, and not only
support them through the initial shock of higher prices but make sure households
can afford the cost of higher bills which are expected to last for at least two years.”
Helen Diplock, Debt Centre Manager in Eastbourne, added “I have seen first hand
the crippling impact of rising cost of living coupled with rising energy prices. Our
clients are struggling to make ends meet, being forced to choose between heating
their home or eating.”
Eastbourne residents who are struggling with unmanageable debt can access free,
local, debt advice by calling 0800 328 0006.

To serve people living with the pressure of debt, Victoria Baptist Church has
partnered with charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP), to run a free
debt-counselling service for Eastbourne residents.

If you are struggling with debt and need help, get in contact with CAP today on
0800 328 0006 or visit
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity determined to reduce poverty by
delivering free debt help, money management education, life skills courses and job
clubs, all through local churches.
CAP is also the UK’s largest provider of adult, face-to-face financial education
through the CAP Money Course. This takes place through over 1,000 partnerships
with churches who follow CAP’s tailor-made course.
Find out more about CAP at
CAP is committed to its services being available to all individuals regardless of age,
disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex
and sexual orientation.