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Age NI Response to £55m Energy Payment Support Scheme

Published on 13 January 2022 03:52 PM

Age NI welcomes the announcement by the Department for Communities of a further £55m Energy Payment Support Scheme.  This is a measure that will hopefully go a long way to alleviate the hardship many households are suffering this winter. 

We are however concerned that this Scheme falls short for many older people who will not be eligible, as they are not in receipt of a qualifying benefit. With the huge hike in energy costs, their circumstances are very different this winter from last year.


We worry for those older people who have just about been managing up until now. Pensioners who have been getting by on a modest pension income have little or no leeway to absorb the impact of up to 50% fuel cost increases.


We are calling on the NI Executive to ensure that the legislation required for the new 2022 scheme is inclusive of more pensioners in need.  To make a real difference this scheme needs to be up and running urgently, as people are already making tough spending choices and there are many winter weeks ahead.


This situation is not unforeseen: Northern Ireland needs a longer term strategy on energy and a Task Force dedicated to tackling this issue all year round.  It's time to stop responding to a crisis every winter and leaving vulnerable older people stuck in the cold.


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Last updated: Jul 03 2023

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