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Social Development Committee to Address Fuel Poverty

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 23 October 2011

Reference: SD 06/11/12

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Social Development agreed today that it will work proactively with other Assembly Committees to encourage the development and delivery of an effective Inter Departmental plan of action to address and eradicate fuel poverty in Northern Ireland.

Committee Chairperson Alex Maskey said, “The Committee previously heard from the National Energy Action and Fuel Poverty Coalition in Northern Ireland and were concerned to learn  that more than 300,000 households here in are in fuel poverty. This is nearly three times higher than levels in England and significantly higher than the rates in Scotland and Wales. 

“The recent hike in energy prices combined with our reliance on expensive home heating oil clearly makes the problem worse and dramatically increases the number of people affected by fuel poverty, particularly as we enter the colder winter months.

“Having heard from the Department of Social Development yesterday (September 22) on its new Fuel Poverty Strategy, the Committee is anxious to ensure that all possible measures are taken across the relevant Departments to address the important issue of fuel poverty which impacts directly on the most vulnerable people here. 

“Over the coming weeks, we will be speaking to relevant Assembly Committees about how we can work together to find workable solutions towards ending fuel poverty here.”   

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