Advice NI CEO has expressed serious concern over upcoming fuel price increases

“We had expected an announcement from Power NI following on from rises across the energy sector and unfortunately we may yet see further rises in all energy costs in the New Year,” said Bob Stronge, Chief Executive

He has also warned that this rise, combined with higher prices for food and other goods, as well as the loss of the additional Universal Credit payment will see many poorer households struggling to make ends meet this winter.

“People are turning to our Advisors in increasing numbers, indeed over the last quarter we have seen a spike in the number of people contacting Advice Centres and our regional helplines. Debt Advisors are also dealing with more people experiencing financial difficulties some of whom are turning to illegal and high cost money lenders to make ends meet.”

“We know this is happening but it is difficult to quantify, as many people will not disclose information for fear of cutting off an avenue much needed cash. When all other options have been exhausted this sadly is often the only choice people are left with. It is not solution but it may satisfy an immediate need however it may put people at greater risk if they are unable to maintain the payments. I would urge anyone who is struggling financially to make contact with their local Advice Centre or ring our regional helpline where a range of help is available,”

Information for help and support can be found on our website or you can speak to an adviser for free and in confidence on Freephone 0800 915 4604