Costs crisis: People need answers now on energy payments – Derry MLA

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Sinn Féin MLA Ciara Ferguson has said the British Government must urgently spell out when people here will get the £400 energy support and £200 heating oil payments.

Ciara Ferguson was speaking after the British Chancellor Dominic Rabb failed to spell out when the payments will be made during his Autumn statement yesterday.

The government in Westminster has told the Journal the payments would be paid out this winter but have not yet said when.

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The Foyle MLA said: "The British government have provided no answers for families waiting on the £400 energy support payment and the now £200 oil payment.

Ciara Ferguson MLA.Ciara Ferguson MLA.
Ciara Ferguson MLA.

"It is over six months since this support was announced and despite the DUP claiming the payments would be made in November, there is still no sign of it.

"And let us be clear, if we had an Executive this payment could already be in people's pockets - the DUP blockade of the institutions is punishing workers and families.”

Ciara Ferguson said people are struggling ‘right now’ with their energy bills and they deserve to know when they will receive the payment they are entitled to.

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£400 energy support 'will reach' NI this winter: Govt 'working tirelessly' says ...

"The increase announced for families waiting on the oil payment will also be of no comfort as again there are still no details as to how it will be paid,” she said, adding:

"The British government must urgently provide clarity on when these energy support payments will be made to give families certainty as winter deepens."

Grant Shapps’ Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) told the Journal that the payments, which are already being rolled out in Britain, will be coming soon.

A BEIS spokesperson said: “Customers in Northern Ireland can rest assured that the full payment will reach them this winter.

"We are working tirelessly to make this happen."