I convened a roundtable in Parliament, after a request from the Norfolk Community Advice Network (NCAN), bringing together the MPs in Norfolk and representatives from Norfolk’s community and advice sector to discuss the cost of living emergency.

Representatives from the community and advice sector in Norfolk who travelled to Parliament for the roundtable included Norfolk Community Advice Network (NCAN), the Norfolk Community Law Service (NCLS), Age UK, and MAP.

NCAN has never seen a higher level of demand for free legal and social welfare advice and humanitarian support services, not even during the pandemic.

NCAN’s advice providers are buckling under the pressure of this excess demand, with some already unable to respond to everyone who needs help. This year NCAN advice charities saw:

  • A 405% increase in the average value of secured loans debt (an average £5821 is owed per person, compared with last year’s £1151).
  • A 1,300% increase reported in those requesting help with debt assessments and a similar increase in demand for charitable support and foodbank parcels.
  • Three times as many young people asking for help with homelessness compared to last year.
  • A 68% increase in direct referrals compared to this time last year.

I will continue to work closely with these organisations to raise the cost of living emergency and the particular impact in Norfolk, in Parliament.

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