ST HELENS Citizens Advice Bureau is expecting an increase in residents seeking help as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.

Energy and food price hikes have seen a recent upsurge in queries being made to MPs’ offices in St Helens by constituents looking to cope with the heftier charges.

Meanwhile, Citizens Advice St Helens, is anticipating a surge in queries from residents struggling due to the crisis.

David Reynolds, chief executive officer, said: “We are just preparing for the impending increase in enquiries. We have noted some people already mentioning they are finding it difficult to manage finances and budget for all of the increases.”

Mr Reynolds said that in the period from January to March 2022, the total amount of debt disclosed to the CAB from residents they were assisting amounted to £876,886.70.

Of this amount £91,676.19 was fuel debt for 81 households, an average of £1,131.

He added: “With the current increase and then the one in October we can only envisage this amount to increase.

“Many fuel suppliers so have some schemes to help their customers and we will certainly assist residents to access these wherever possible

“It is clear that the increase in benefits and wages will certainly not cover all of these costs and we are to carefully monitor the situation over the coming months.”

A spokesman for Marie Rimmer, St Helens South & Whiston MP, said her office has seen a recent uptake from constituents and local businesses getting in touch for help.

St Helens Star: Marie Rimmer MPMarie Rimmer MP

Labour MP Ms Rimmer said: “The cost of living is going through the roof. Petrol is getting dearer and energy bills are going up. The Budget announced by the Chancellor will do little to help this.

“The spending plans that the Conservatives have made are going to be paid off the backs of ordinary people. Instead of taxing big businesses like Amazon, the government has instead decided to increase national insurance so working people are forced to pay more. This is not how you build a better economy and society.


“Over the past decade, public services have been cut to the bone. This is why the coronavirus pandemic hit us so hard. Instead of giving tax cuts for bankers, the government needs to get the economy growing properly to fund the public services we all depend upon.”


Meanwhile, Conor McGinn, the Labour MP for St Helens North, recently held a summit with the local voluntary, community and faith sector in St Helens to discuss their work to alleviate the mounting cost of living crisis facing residents across the borough.

St Helens Star: Mr McGinn at the cost of living summitMr McGinn at the cost of living summit

After the event, McGinn said: “I was grateful to hear directly from many of our phenomenal local voluntary groups at our roundtable. Yet again, they’re stepping up to help our community in its hour of need, and I fully back them and am working closely with them on these challenges.


“From the frontline, they, our local council, city region and MPs are already seeing the scale and impact of this crisis. Clearly, the pitiful response of central Government has left more people facing hard times and hard choices both for themselves and their loved ones.


“It’s time that Ministers match our efforts locally and finally deliver the meaningful support and policies needed to stem this tide and help ensure all our people stay afloat.”

The Government announced a £200 discount on bills for homes in England, Wales and Scotland from October earlier this year.

Meanwhile, a further £150 council tax rebate for households in England in property bands A to D was also introduced.