Finance Minister Conor Murphy met with members of the National Energy Action Charity and Fuel Poverty Coalition this morning to discuss the current cost of living crisis.
Speaking following the meeting, Minister Murphy said: “I welcomed the opportunity to meet with the National Energy Action Charity and Fuel Poverty Coalition. The current cost of living crisis is presenting significant challenges for households and businesses. There is no doubt the continued absence of an Executive is hampering efforts to get financial support out onto the ground. However I am committed to doing all I can to help progress support equivalent to the Energy Bills Support Scheme.
“My Department is continuing to engage Treasury to ensure citizens here are given certainty that financial assistance is coming. I have met with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury recently on a number of occasions and stressed the need for this to be resolved quickly, well ahead of the winter months.”
The National Energy Action Charity and Fuel Poverty Coalition have produced recommendations to tackle the energy crisis which includes calling for VAT to be suspended on energy bills and fuel bills temporarily to support the many families and businesses facing additional hardships this winter.
Welcoming the meeting with the Finance Minister, Pat Austin, Chair of the National Energy Action Charity added: “I was heartened to meet with Minister Murphy today to explore how we can support people in the face of the ongoing energy crisis and unlock much needed financial support for vulnerable households ahead of the coming winter.”
Minister Murphy concluded: “I agree there is a strong case for reducing VAT on fuel and energy bills. I have repeatedly called on Treasury to move on this issue but they appear reluctant to do so. I will continue to press Treasury to implement further measures to tackle the cost of living crisis as a matter of urgency.”