In response to the Chancellor's announcement today of cost-of-living financial support, Helen Barnard, Research and Policy Director at Pro Bono Economics, said:

“This is a very welcome move from the Chancellor to help ease the financial pain from a cost-of-living crisis that is being felt most acutely by the poorest in society. A support package of this size is desperately needed and charities across the UK on the frontline of this crisis will be pleased to see this action.

“As we await the introduction of this new support from July, we know the most vulnerable are already being referred for emergency charity support in record numbers. By the end of last month, Citizen’s Advice had supported more people struggling with energy costs this year than in the whole of 2021.

“We now know some relief from the government is coming, but in the meantime it is important that people are supported to limit the build-up of debt and its impact on mental health. Providing this vital support will fall to charities that are already facing ever-growing demands, as well as having to cope with staff burnout, rising costs and the falling value of donations due to inflation.

“The charity sector will undoubtedly step up to this latest challenge as it always does and the Chancellor’s commitment today to support the most vulnerable should give the sector some much-needed breathing space.”