Searches for benefit entitlement and mortgage help soared in August as the cost of living crisis bites - and before the recent economic issues.

Rises in the price of energy, food and other essentials mean many are facing a difficult winter ahead, with the UK government introducing a winter fuel payment of £400 to try and help struggling families.

The recent decision to cut taxes while raising government borrowing caused chaos in the markets, with Liz Truss and Kwasi Karteng forced to u-turn on a plan to scrap the 45p tax rate.

Plans to cut taxes while increasing government borrowing saw the pound fall sharply, with mortgage prices rising as markets fear an interest rate rise from the Bank of England.

The average two-year fixed rate is now close to six per cent, but prices have been rising throughout the year.

And figures from the Citizens Advice Bureau show consumers were already worried about paying their mortgages before the mini-budget sent the pound tumbling.

Searches for the web page 'What To Do If You Can't Pay Your Mortgage' rose 25 per cent in August 2022 compared to July, and makes up over half of mortgage problem related searches.

The Herald: Citizens Advice BureauCitizens Advice Bureau (Image: Citizens Advice Bureau)

Across all advice webpages relating to mortgage problems, there has been a 277% rise in unique page views between August 2021 and August 2022

The impact of the cost of living crisis is shown elsewhere in the CAB's report.

The webpage ‘Grants and Benefits to Help You Pay Your Energy’, which usually receives the majority of its web traffic in winter, is up 748% from August 2021.

The Herald: Citizens Advice BureauCitizens Advice Bureau (Image: Citizens Advice Bureau)

Searches for 'get help with bills' increased 366% compared to a year ago, with queries over 'what benefits am I entitled to' up 92%.

People are also concerned about debt, the figures reveal.

Creditor Takes Money From My Bankbuilding Society Account’ only increased incrementally from July to August 2022, but has increased 64% from the same time last year.