Sadiq Khan launches Cost of Living Hub as energy prices and other bills soar on Bleak Friday

The Cost of Living Hub will help Londoners access information and advice on how to claim benefits, help dealing with debt, financial management and mental health support.

Sadiq Khan has launched a new online Cost of Living Hub to help Londoners facing financial hardship as the energy price hike comes into effect.

From today (April 1) energy bills across the capital will increase by 54%, meaning a household using a typical amount of gas and electricity will now pay an extra £693 a year.

Energy prices are set to rise.

The new hub includes targeted information for groups of Londoners who are more likely to experience poverty and financial hardship.

Polls by YouGov taken earlier this year showed that 34% of Londoners have struggled to pay their household bills in the previous six months.

The survey of Londoners also showed that fuel poverty disproportionately affects Black Londoners, single parents, social renters and disabled Londoners.

With the cost of living in London being 7% higher than the rest of the UK, the knock-on effects of increased energy bills coupled with benefits not rising in line with inflation will risk more Londoners being plunged into poverty.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The mayor of London said: “I am deeply concerned about the impact that the soaring cost of living is having on Londoners.

“The increase in the energy price cap poses a significant challenge, especially to those on lower incomes whose energy bills are likely to take up a larger share of their outgoings.

“There is a clear and urgent need for Londoners to be able to access practical financial advice which could help them navigate this difficult period.

“I hope that anyone who is struggling will find the new Cost of Living Hub to be a useful resource.”

National Energy Action chief executive, Adam Scorer, said: “Today across London, millions of households will see their home energy bills soar by 50%.

“For those in or at risk of fuel poverty it could spell disaster; not just financial hardship, but to their physical and mental wellbeing.

“It is very welcome that the mayor is setting up the cost of living hub and is committed to supporting and expanding a number of vital programmes across the capital which can help offset some of this misery.”

Head of information programmes at Turn2us, Michael Clarke, said: “At a time when the cost-of-living is soaring, people are already being forced to make impossible choices in order to get by.

“With increasing energy costs coming into effect from April, this will undoubtedly make people feel uncertain and worried about their finances for the future.

“That is why it is great to see the Greater London Authority launch a cost-of-living information hub so people on the lowest incomes can access the right financial support at the right time.”