SDLP South Belfast MLA Matthew O’Toole has said struggling families are being pushed to the brink as inflation hits a 40-year high.
Inflation has risen to 9%, with people seeing huge spikes in the cost of food, fuel and energy bills.
Mr O’Toole said Stormont was powerless to do anything to help people, due to the DUP’s refusal to return to the Executive.
South Belfast MLA Mr O’Toole said:
“The news that inflation has reached a 40-year high will come as no surprise to families in communities across the North who have been struggling to get by for some time due to the seemingly never-ending price increases in essentials like food, petrol and gas and electricity bills. What this staggering figure does show is the scale of the challenge people are facing just to get one from week to the next, it simply can’t continue.
“The sad fact is that while the DUP refuse to return to the Executive, their obstinate stance has left us powerless to protect people from this emergency. It’s disgraceful that this is the only part of these islands that has yet to provide a penny in support to working families who are under unimaginable pressures.
“The SDLP has made addressing the costs crisis our number one priority and that won’t change until we get people through this. We have come forward with numerous proposals to support people and address these issues in both the short and long-term, but unfortunately, they have fallen on deaf ears. There is currently over £300m sitting in a Stormont bank account doing nothing and if we had a functional Executive we would urge a quick £200 payment to every household to help people.
“We remain committed to introducing emergency legislation from the first sitting day of the new Assembly to address the problems impacting people in our communities, we cannot continue to stand by and watch families suffer.”