SDLP proposes 1000 litre home heating oil scheme
The SDLP has proposed a new scheme designed to support households that rely on home heating oil through what is anticipated to be a difficult autumn and winter as energy prices continue to rise.
The scheme would see 1000 litres of home heating oil provided to domestic consumers across Northern Ireland, implemented through a self-enrolment voucher scheme in conjunction with oil providers and overseen by the Utility Regulator.MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, said that an urgent intervention was needed to prevent widespread fuel poverty and unnecessary deaths this winter as Northern Ireland’s unique domestic energy supply is reliant on home heating oil.The SDLP will publish further proposals to address the cost-of-living crisis in the coming days.Mid Ulster MLA, Patsy McGlone said, “The SDLP’s home heating oil scheme is a bold and robust proposal to prevent thousands of families falling into fuel poverty this winter. We are calling on Ministers in Northern Ireland and in London to urgently fund a scheme to provide 1000 litres of home heating oil to domestic consumers as a matter of the utmost urgency.“Without immediate intervention, working families and the most vulnerable households will go cold this autumn and winter. Those particularly vulnerable in winter, including those with long term medical conditions and older people, will be at risk of dying if we don’t act now. The SDLP understands the pressure people are under, that’s why we have developed a plan that will make a real difference.“A warm home isn’t a luxury, it’s a matter of basic human dignity. With more than 70% of households in Northern Ireland projected to fall into fuel poverty by next year, this is the single most important issue that politicians should be focussed on. It is the number one priority for the SDLP.“We are proposing a self-enrolment voucher scheme that would give families the power to purchase 1000 litres of home heating oil with robust checks to be put in place by oil providers and with oversight from the Utility Regulator. The situation people are facing is bleak and time is quickly running out. Where Ministers have failed people to date, the SDLP opposition is stepping in with solutions.”