Gas hike leaves families unable to heat their home

SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, has said the latest hike in the price of gas will leave families unable to heat their homes. It comes after SSE Airtricity said it increase natural gas prices by 39% from April.

SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has written to Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey to express concern about the rising pressures being placed on

families by the spiralling costs of everything from food to fuel.

The SDLP is calling for the £200 energy support payment to be extended to all households.

Patsy McGlone MLA.
Patsy McGlone MLA.
Patsy McGlone MLA.

Mr McGlone said, “This rise in the cost of gas is the latest in a long line of blows to families who will be unable to meet these price rises.

Over the last few months we have seen the price of everything from food to fuel go through the roof. We are now at the point where many in our communities

will no longer be able to pay for vital utilities like heat and electricity.

“Last year the SDLP produced an energy costs action plan to address these issues before it was too late. This was completely ignored by Communities

Minister Deirdre Hargey and people are now paying the price for that.

“We are continuing to bring forward solutions to help people, including proposing a £200 energy payment to every bill-payer.

“Too many families have now passed breaking point and have no idea how they are going to get through the coming weeks and months. This crisis has been coming down the tracks for some time, but still the Executive stood still and did nothing. Now the DUP’s decision to walk away has rendered it paralysed and unable to help people in desperate need.

“While governments in other parts of these islands are stepping up and helping people, vulnerable communities in the North have once again fallen victim to toxic party politics. Some parties continue to put their own self-interest above improving the lives of people here. There is £300million available to mitigate the worst impact of this for families. Because of the DUP, people are being forced to turn to foodbanks and charities instead.

“If we are ever going to deal with this crisis and get communities the support they need, then we need parties and politicians that are going to put people first and focus on the issues that matter to them.”

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