Support for the people of Medway

Citizens Advice says solutions to tackle falling living standards are missing in action from this election campaign. The warning comes as polling commissioned by the charity shows more than half (52%) of voters aren’t hopeful that living standards will improve after the election on 4 July. Citizens Advice is helping someone with a cost-of-living related issue every five seconds and recognises that the new government must offer more than lip service in response to falling living standards.

Citizens Advice found 43% of UK voters say it’s more difficult to afford essentials than it was six months ago, despite falling inflation and suggestions that the economy is beginning to pick up. 

The charity has also released more of its own frontline data, revealing a dramatic increase in people it has helped with living standards issues since 2019, the year of the last general election:

  • 221% increase in those requiring food bank referrals or emergency support.
  • 113% jump in people helped because they’ve fallen behind on energy bills.
  • Three times as many working people helped with access to food banks or emergency support.

No wonder then that nearly 48% of voters cited the cost of living or living standards as one of the most important factors influencing their vote, ranking second only to health and the NHS (58%) and ahead of immigration (31%) and even the economy (28%).

Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“This is the living standards election. Voters will judge the next government on what they’ll do to tackle this.

"We’re still helping someone every five seconds with a cost-of-living issue. That’s too many barely treading water, unable to move forward with their lives, and constantly worried about the next bill dragging them under completely. 

“Tackling falling living standards requires more than just lip service. It’s vital we see action that’ll make a genuine difference to people's lives within the first 100 days of a new government.”


Notes to editors:

Survey data based on a politically and nationally representative poll of 2,059 UK adults (18+) conducted by Opinium Research for Citizens Advice, fieldwork conducted between the 12th and 14th of June 2024. Opinium Research is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

  • 221% increase in those requiring food bank referrals or emergency support. Stats comparing 1st Jan to 31st of May 2019 with 1st of Jan to 31st of May 2024
  • 113% jump in people helped because they have fallen behind on energy bills is the figure for those helped with energy debt. 
  • Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  • Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free. 
  • Citizens Advice helped 2.66 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2022-23. And we had 60.6 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice Trends.
  • Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 16,000 trained volunteers, working at over 1,600 service outlets across England and Wales.
  • Citizens Advice is the largest provider of free, multi-channel debt advice. Providing that help gives Citizens Advice unique insight into the types of debts people struggle with.

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