Ulster Unionist Party Communities Spokesperson Andy Allen MLA said:
“The UK Government’s announcement today of a one-off £100 payment for households who use home heating oil in Northern Ireland, falls short of the level of support needed. Although this is in addition to the previously announced £400 energy bills support scheme payment for electricity bills and other targeted payments, it does not replicate the level of support being provided elsewhere in the UK who heat their homes using gas.
“More than two-thirds of Northern Ireland households use oil boilers as their main source of heating and whilst the price of oil has recently fallen below that of gas, the £100 payment falls short of the level of support many households require. We are therefore disappointed that households who use home heating oil are not being similarly supported. Furthermore, whilst short-term payments are welcome they need to be linked to wider medium to long-term intervention and solutions.
“The government has also proposed support for GB businesses from 1st October but no support or date has yet been announced for Northern Ireland businesses who desperately need help. This is unacceptable as businesses are already closing due to huge energy price increases.
“In the absence of a functioning Executive, it is incumbent upon the UK Government to roll out a business support scheme in Northern Ireland similar to that announced for GB.”