27/05/2022

DUP Accuse SF Of 'Trying To Play Politics With The Most Vulnerable'

The DUP has accused Sinn Féin of "trying to play politics with the most vulnerable", with Sammy Wilson stating that the Chancellor's support package must be available to every household in Northern Ireland.

Mr Wilson said: "It is extraordinary that Sinn Fein is cynically using vulnerable people to try and advance their political goals. They should stick to facts rather than trying to manipulate fears.

"The £650 payment for people who receive means tested benefits will be delivered in Northern Ireland the same way benefits were adjusted during the three years when Sinn Fein blocked devolution over the Irish language.

"People in Northern Ireland will also receive the £300 increase in the winter fuel payment.
News Image
"In England, Scotland and Wales, energy companies will be giving the discount direct to consumers. Energy companies in NI should do the same. Given this Finance Minister failed to agree a budget when the Executive was operating, there would be a real danger if he got his hands on the money, it would only lead to dither and delay. The best way to alleviate poverty would be for Westminster to get the money to consumers via their energy bills.

"Sinn Fein also fail to mention that the Chancellor has also opted not to reduce VAT on energy bills because once again the NI Protocol would make it difficult to apply to Northern Ireland. A VAT cut would have been one of the best ways to get money into people's pockets as there would have been zero administration or bureaucracy.

"Whilst Sinn Fein is quick to latch onto the £400 energy payment from the UK Government, they fail to mention that Northern Ireland households are already losing out on tax reliefs for energy schemes because of the NI Protocol. People living in Great Britain have had a VAT cut on energy efficiency schemes but Northern Ireland has lost out because of the NI Protocol.

"Of course, if Sinn Fein, Westminster and Brussels had recognised the concerns of unionists when we raised them more than two years ago, devolution would still be operating.

"The NI Protocol is infecting all our politics and the sooner it is replaced with arrangements which can command unionist support the better for everyone."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 June 2022
Tech Innovations Benefit Wellbeing Of Older People
The positive impact of innovative technology on older people's health, wellbeing and independence has been showcased at an event at the Europa Hotel. As Loneliness Awareness Week draws to a close, the event was part of the £2.
17 June 2022
People Urged To 'Make The Call' To Benefits Advice Service
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has highlighted the benefits advice service offered by her department, urging people to 'Make the Call' as the cost of living crisis continues to escalate. The Make the Call Wraparound service supports people in accessing benefits and supports to which they are entitled but have not been claiming.
26 July 2005
WWF welcomes all-island renewable energy plans
WWF Northern Ireland has welcomed plans by the British and Irish Government's to secure cost effective, environmentally friendly power sources for the future of Ireland, north and south.
08 October 2003
UK Energy Minister launches new initiative in Belfast
A new initiative to encourage the development of renewable energy in Northern Ireland is being launched today in Belfast by UK Energy Minister, Stephen Timms.
20 January 2011
Renewable Energy Gets Powerful Boost
A new association is being formed today aimed at expanding the use of renewable energy sources, such as wind power. The Northern Ireland Renewable Industry Group (NIRIG), which represents the collective voices of Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) and RenewableUK in Northern Ireland, was officially launched on Thursday.