Commenting on the news that inflation fell to 10.1% in March, Richard Lane, Director of External Affairs at StepChange said:
It’s positive to see inflation finally going in the right direction, but with energy prices fixed until July and inflation on food and other essentials still running well above 10%, the news will be of little solace to the millions of people who have endured blow after blow to their finances over the past three years.
"Since March 2020, the number of people struggling to keep up with household bills and credit commitments has nearly tripled, rising from 7.5 million people to 22 million people. For many, the increased strain of soaring prices will mean making difficult decisions between keeping the lights on or putting food on the table.
Demand for our services is rising fast and Government must be ready to support those facing financial hardship and rapidly escalating levels of debt. Pausing punitive deductions to benefits would be an effective and easy way to help those on the lowest incomes through this difficult period. Meanwhile, energy bills are simply unmanageable for thousands of households, so we’re calling for targeted funding to write-off arrears for people who cannot afford to repay. In the longer term, a social tariff for energy would act as a permanent solution to protect financially vulnerable households from debt and fuel poverty.