Allen welcomes Chancellor’s announcement of additional Energy Support funding

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Allen welcomes Chancellor’s announcement of additional Energy Support funding

East Belfast Ulster Unionist Party MLA and Communities Spokesperson, Andy Allen MBE, has welcomed the news that £150 million will be made available to the NI Executive to help households with spiralling energy costs.

Mr Allen said:

“I welcome this additional funding from Westminster and would call upon the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure it is allocated to provide support for those impacted by the spiralling energy costs. I repeat my call to the Communities Minister to immediately convene a departmental-led Fuel Poverty Task Force to develop measures to support as many households across Northern Ireland as possible.

“This announcement comes at a time when many families are at a financial breaking point. The continued cost of living crisis made worse by further energy cost increases is placing more and more into severe financial hardship.

“For several months now I have been calling on the Minister to create a fuel poverty task force to look at short, medium and longer-term solutions to deal with these pressures. Such a task force - bringing together skills from the Statutory, Voluntary and Business sectors - can help to identify solutions that can hopefully remove the need for annual ‘knee jerk’ short-term solutions that do not alleviate over-arching energy management problems.

“It would be remiss of me not to also highlight my concerns that any removal of the function of the Executive Office would mean that this funding may not be allocated. Those considering such a move must step back and consider the unforgivable suffering they will create by stopping this essential financial support from reaching those who need it.”