The energy crisis is fueling demand for Financial Wellbeing in Northern Ireland, with rising costs brewing the opportunity for a nasty perfect storm.
Pre-COVID, we understood that this crisis would come with unprecedented economic impact. As we begin to transition out of lockdown culture, and move back in to society, that impact & fallout in recent weeks has been very real.
For individuals across NI, with Christmas fast approaching, days shortening & the costs of living rising, the pressure upon working families is extrapolating week on week.
In early September, we heard the initial news that the £20 uplift for Universal Credit was ending. Although this was expected news, the impact at this stage is massive for our local economy.
Universal Credit is claimed by 134,070 individuals across Northern Ireland, and contributes £5 billion to our local economy, meaning £5 billion is now not being spent by working families each year.
The cuts therefore not only impact families, but will impact small businesses & owners, which in turn negatively impacts the livelihoods of those owners.
At the end of September, Firmus Energy announced a 33% increase then in gas prices, due to price rises globally for the fuel. With gas increasing, days shortening & getting colder, this will tighten peoples’ pockets even further in the build up to Christmas.
Moreover, just yesterday, further news has highlighted that energy costs could increase again by up to 50% in December, leaving incomes crippled in the mouth of Winter.
In the space of 2 months, the energy crisis has doubled the cost of resources, and yet support for families has been cut, furlough has ended and individuals are struggling.
Employers now are in the perfect position to enact their duty of care, and ensure that those most vulnerable in their teams are protected.
Financial Stress is one of the biggest costs to business, accounting for £15 billion in absenteeism costs in 2019.
When Financial Pressures rise, individuals’ mental health stumbles, which in turn can lead to poorer decision making in work, a decline in physical health & a rise in sick or absent days.
But for employers, wellbeing should be about more than just cost to business. With the rising impact of financial pressures, introducing a Financial Wellbeing programme in to your business may be a fantastic way to ease some of that pressure.
Financial Wellbeing can empower employees to make better financial decisions, allowing them to budget effectively, & navigate the complications of the current environment.
Here at Kith and Kin Financial Wellbeing, we provide annual membership, one-off Financial Workshops, online training & 1-to-1 Financial Clinics for staff. Each of our service offerings are provided by Financial Experts & Advisors, helping your teams forward financial plan, and reduce the impact of Financial Stress.
Given the impact of the current circumstances, and the rising pressure & stress as a result, the time to implement a financial wellbeing plan in Northern Ireland has never been more crucial.
If you are interested in learning more about our services, and how they may benefit your teams & people, learn more about them on our website here today.
If you are looking to book a session, or want to set up a call with our team, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us directly at 028 9087 7777.