SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin MLA has called on the Department for the Economy to outline its proposals to ease the cost-of-living crisis for households that use home heating oil.
It follows the announcement from the Consumer Council that home heating oil prices in Northern Ireland have exceeded £1 per litre, more than twice the ten-year average price.
Foyle MLA Ms McLaughlin said:
“While much of the focus during the current cost-of-living crisis has been on those households and individuals that use gas, it’s vitally important that we remember two-thirds of households in the North use home heating oil. I am not yet convinced that specific proposals have been made that will make a meaningful difference for these consumers.
“Families across the North are struggling to make ends meet and we risk leaving them completely out in the cold this winter. As we stare down the barrel of winter, I am becoming increasingly concerned that the Department for the Economy has no real strategy at all to address their needs.
“The news that heating oil now costs over £1 per litre will add yet more anxiety to people who are already struggling and will lead to yet more frustration that we are still without a government almost four months after the election. The DUP’s behaviour cannot be excused- they are leaving people to fend for themselves in the worst energy crisis in living memory, despite having the means to help.
“I have written to the Economy Minister today to ask what specific interventions can be made to help those people who use home heating oil. The very least he can do for consumers is to outline what measures his department is considering to protect people in the months ahead.”