Finance Minister Frustrated Over Energy Package

Prime Minister must provide clarity on support package says Murphy

Prime Minister must provide clarity on support package says Murphy

NI Finance Minister Conor Murphy has expressed frustration at the lack of detail in the Prime Minister’s statement on how the energy support will apply here in Northern Ireland.

He says the Prime Minister’s support package does not go far enough.

Speaking following the Prime Minister’s speech, Finance Minister Conor Murphy said: “While the support announced today is to be welcomed, it does not go far enough to support the most vulnerable in society or small businesses.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy says he is frustrated at the lack of clarity over the energy package.

“Nor is it likely to meet increased energy costs faced by schools, hospitals and other public sector bodies.

“Six months does not provide enough certainty for businesses who are facing spiralling and crippling energy costs.

“Businesses don’t have the luxury of waiting for the outcome of reviews. They need to know if their business is in a vulnerable sector entitled to further support.

“Benefits should be uplifted in line with inflation to support low income households with the increased costs they will face this winter.

“There should be an uplift in Universal Credit.

“And the reduced VAT rate for the hospitality sector should be reinstated. These measures must be included in the upcoming Fiscal Statement later this month.” 

Minister Murphy added: “It is incomprehensible that the Prime Minister has chosen not to enhance the windfall tax to fund the response to the cost crisis.

“Instead of imposing further taxes on energy companies, the Westminster Government is increasing borrowing in order to sustain the profits of energy companies.

“It is our citizens who will in the longer-term foot the bill for these interventions.”

The Minister also turning to the uncertainty on how the measures will apply here. Minister Murphy said: “While the British Government has said the energy policy changes will apply here, they have failed to outline what exactly that means.

“This will bring little comfort to individuals who are having to decide between heating and eating.

“Likewise, businesses trying to plan ahead for the winter months have no certainty as to when support will be forthcoming.

“The absence of a functioning Executive will require a work around. At a time of crisis for citizens, businesses and public services this is completely unacceptable.

“I am calling for urgent clarity on how energy support will be delivered locally.”