The number of people needing emergency support - such as the use of foodbanks - has increased by 27 per cent in North Herts between January and March this year, according Citizens Advice North Herts.

Research shows that around five million people won’t be able to pay their energy bills following the April increase and this number rises to over 14 million based on predictions for October’s price cap rise, the charity has said.

March 2022 was the branch's busiest month of 2021/22, as local households felt the effects of the rising cost of living.

The number of people needing crisis support - foodbank or other charitable support - from the charity increased by 27 per cent in the period from January 1 to March 20, compared to the previous three months.

They have supported 41 per cent more people with energy debt this year than last year.

Rosie Waters, CEO at Citizens Advice North Herts, said: “We are seeing first-hand how those on the lowest incomes are being hit hardest.

"Many people are already struggling to cover the cost of essentials and rising prices are tipping some households into crisis.

"Our advisers are supporting people who are in real difficulty, with increasingly complex problems. The extra help through the Household Support Fund is welcome, but given the scale of the cost of living crisis it simply isn’t going to be enough.”