Derry & Strabane working group focus on cost of living crisis

Sinn Féin councillor Sandra Duffy has welcomed the first meeting of the council working group tasked with developing local measures to address the cost-of-living crisis.

She said that whilst the Executive has been limited in its ability to respond due to the approach of the DUP and British government, it was still vital that local authorities did their best to deliver practical assistance at a local level.

She said: “Last week I called for a Special Meeting of the council to discuss what could be done at a local level to address the cost of living crisis. The working group emerged from that, and Council officials are now working to identify resources that can assist local organisations that have the expertise in helping those affected by rising living costs with practical assistance.”

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She said local authorities have been left in this position because of the DUP withdrawing from the Executive and “effectively blocking further intervention at that level”.

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy.

“The DUP should renominate a First Minister to allow the £300 million of unspent Executive funding to be immediately allocated to those affected by this crisis.

“The British government also needs to heed the call for a cut in VAT on fuel, abandon the planned hike in National Insurance contributions and introduce a wealth tax on profiteering energy companies with the money raised redirected to those families, workers and individuals who need it,” Colr. Duffy said.