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Food and fuel poverty has more than tripled in a year, says Citizens Advice

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The number of people seeking help because they cannot afford both food and energy has risen more than threefold in a year, according to new data that highlights the increasingly tough choices households face between heating and eating.The figures, published by Citizens Advice, lay bare the difficulties caused by spiralling domestic energy costs, which charities say are driving millions into fuel poverty.The cap on average household gas and electricity bills in the UK – set by energy regulator Ofgem – is likely to soar in October from £1,971 to £3,500, according to forecasts issued last week.The level of the cap will be revealed on 26 August, and further rises are possible in January.

This prompted a clamour for more government and the two Tory leadership contenders, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss support. But the new data shows that the number of people struggling to eat and pay for energy has already surged, even before the new cap kicks in.Between April and June last year, 297 people contacted Citizens Advice for help with both food bank referrals and money to top up their energy pre-payment meter.

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