Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP has urged the British government to provide clarity around a £400 energy bills discount for households in the North.
The Energy Bills Support Scheme will provide every household in the North and Britain with a £400 discount this winter.
However, the Treasury are still in discussions around how the payments will be made to households in the North in the absence of a functioning Executive.
Foyle MP Mr Eastwood said:
“The DUP’s refusal to return to Stormont to get support out to families struggling as result of the cost of living crisis has condemned people in the North to an incredibly difficult winter. We have a recession looming, energy bills are set to rise ever higher and fuel poverty will become the norm for people here in the months ahead.
“In the absence of support from Stormont, we need the British government to step up and ensure that people here receive as much support as possible, every penny will count. That’s why I’ve written to the Department for Energy urging them to immediately clarify how people in the North will receive the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme payment.
“The reality is this £400 doesn’t go anywhere near far enough to supporting people during this emergency, but with energy bills estimated to hit £500 by January we must ensure that every bit of support gets to those who need it. The DUP have already prevented us from using the £400m plus at Stormont to help people, but for them to prevent other support getting to struggling families is unthinkable. We need confirmation now on exactly how this money will be paid to people and when. Families and workers cannot afford to wait. The SDLP is demanding an immediate response.”