Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin call on British government to remove VAT on energy bills to help reduce household costs

Sinn Féin assembly member Caoimhe Archibald said the latest increase in gas prices will hit families already struggling with increased costs of living
Marie Louise McConville

SINN Féin has called on the British government to remove VAT on energy bills during the global price spike in a bid to reduce household costs by five per cent.

The party said the government should also "explore a windfall tax on energy generators similar to that which has been introduced in other European states and redirect the money raised towards fuel poverty interventions".

Sinn Féin assembly member Caoimhe Archibald said the latest increase in gas prices will hit families already struggling with increased costs of living.

"We are in the middle of a cost of living crisis as energy prices soar largely due to global demand issues at the same time as inflation is rising and food and other costs are increasing," she said.

"These price hikes do not look likely to be reversed in the short term and therefore it is imperative that the British government recognise the scale of the crisis and intervene to support struggling workers, families and businesses".

She added: "This will be a difficult winter for many families and we need to look at all measures to try to limit the impact and ensure people can heat their homes and put food on the table."

Meanwhile members of Belfast City Council has agreed to support the Commissioner for Older People in his request for a regional emergency hardship fund to provide financial support for older people this winter.

The commissioner Eddie Lynch is calling on Assembly to establish the fund given the anticipated rise in energy prices.

Fred Cobain, chair of the council's People and Communities Committee, said: "I am delighted that elected members have decided to support The Commissioner for Older People in his quest to take action now in tackling fuel poverty and in turn, support older people in our communities".

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