Direct cost-of-living payments of up to £650 will be made to those in greatest need over the coming weeks, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has confirmed.
The payments will be made to those on income-related and disability benefits, as well as pensioners, to help support those most in need during the escalating cost-of-living crisis.
Minister Hargey said: “I can confirm direct payments to thousands of families, individuals, low-income workers and pensioners.
“While these payments are a step in the right direction, they do not go far enough to protect all those impacted. Many people are struggling, including workers and families who are not eligible for benefits.
“The absence of a functioning Executive and no budget in place makes the challenge of dealing with these issues all the greater.
“Money needs to be put directly into the pockets of people who desperately need it.
“I am committed to doing all I can to mitigate the real and damaging impacts people are enduring.
“That is why I have reconvened the Emergencies Leadership Group as part of my strategic response to the crisis, bringing together leaders from the community and voluntary sector who are on the frontline, assisting workers, families and communities who are enduring real hardship as the crisis deepens.”