SDLP South Belfast MP Claire Hanna has said people under pressure due to rising costs cannot afford to wait for the UK Government to act.
She was speaking after Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated his government was planning further measures to mitigate the cost of living crisis, but said “you’ll just have to wait a little bit longer”.
Ms Hanna called for the UK Government to bring forward a new programme of support, including a windfall tax on energy companies, as soon as possible to help people navigate the current costs crisis.
South Belfast MP Ms Hanna said:
“People in Northern Ireland and elsewhere are struggling badly due to the rising costs of food, fuel and energy bills. We are seeing huge price increases for utilities like gas and electricity every month, and families are finding it harder and harder to pay for their shopping and put fuel in their car.
“Boris Johnson and his government should be directing their full attention to helping people through this crisis, but as a result of his behaviour throughout the pandemic he is instead distracted by the investigation into parties at Downing Street. While Johnson is focused on saving his own skin children are going hungry and pensioners are trapped in cold homes hoping for a lifeline.
“It’s insulting to suggest that families under huge pressure as a result of this crisis should ‘just wait a little bit longer’ for support. This support is needed now, with every delay making it harder for people to get by. The SDLP has been calling for a windfall tax since before the last budget. Warm words provide little comfort to people who are suffering, we need to see a proper plan brought forward at the next opportunity, including a windfall tax on the huge profits of energy companies, to get support out to the people who need it most.”