Northern Ireland news

Commissioner for older people meets finance minister to discuss cost of living crisis

The Commissioner for Older People for NI Eddie Lynch
Suzanne McGonagle

THE commissioner for older people raised concerns yesterday about the serious impact of the cost-of-living crisis during a meeting with the Stormont minister of finance.

Eddie Lynch said a number of older people also attended the discussions with Conor Murphy to highlight the growing fears and challenges due to increased energy and food costs.

"There are older people who are telling the minister first-hand about the increasing impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on their daily life," said Mr Lynch.

"The concerns raised are issues that I have been hearing regularly from older people over the past year. There is a genuine fear about rising food and energy bills, and extreme worry about how they will cope with heating their homes and being able to eat over the coldest months of the year.

"Many older people are already unable to meet their spiralling bills and with no end in sight for energy price increases many are having to make a terrible choice of eating or heating their homes. I am extremely concerned about the impact this will inevitably have on their health and well-being. Lives are clearly under threat this winter and we need to see further financial assistance to those most at risk."

Mr Murphy said he welcomed the opportunity to attend the meeting, but added that "unfortunately, the Westminster’s government announcement does not provide the support that citizens here so desperately need".

"Along with my counterparts in Scotland and Wales I continue to press the Westminster government to take urgent steps to provide much needed certainty to those suffering hardship and poverty."

Northern Ireland news