'Hang your heads in shame': Cost of Living Crisis rally over lack of government support in Derry this Friday
Ellen Moore was speaking as she urged people to join the Cost of Living Crisis Campaign rally at 3.30pm on Friday at Guildhall Square ahead of a Full Council Hardship Crisis Meeting.
She said: "It's simply shameful that Westminster and Stormont have failed to administer desperately needed fuel energy support payments here.
"Many families and households are in a desperate situation.
"We welcome the help some families and individuals will receive from the Council hardship fund but it's a drop in the ocean compared to what's required.”
Ellen Moore said that while central government has the resources and it's their responsibility to help people facing hardship, it was ‘simply criminal’ this hasn’t happened and that the £600 in energy support hasn't been distributed.
"The NIO, the NI Secretary of State and those in Stormont responsible for this failure should hang their heads in shame,” she said.
"We don't accept the idea that energy support payments need to be further delayed, we should be receiving them now.
"We urge people across all communities to join us in raising their voice on this unacceptable delay. Enough is enough. We demand better and will not accept second class treatment."
No date has yet been confirmed for a range of energy supports for households in the north of Ireland, including supports already rolled out in Britain.
Responsibility for the schemes lies with central government in London due to the lack of a devolved administration in the north.
Stormont was dissolved after the DUP again refused to nominate ministers in the Autumn, in protest, it says, over the NI Protocol.
In the Republic of Ireland, Cost of Living supports have already been rolled out including 600 euro off electricity bills in three instalments in November, January and March.
Derry City & Strabane District Council this week launched its own Hardship Fund crisis grant aid assistance for those struggling to cover the costs of electricity and home heating oil.
The project will see up to 2,400 households across the city and district get £100 towards bills.