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Commissioner meets Finance Minister to discuss Cost of Living Crisis

22 September, 2022
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The Commissioner for Older People today hosted a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Conor Murphy MLA to raise his increasing concern about the serious impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on older people.

The Commissioner for Older People today hosted a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Conor Murphy MLA to raise his increasing concern about the serious impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on older people.  The Commissioner and Minister were joined by a number of older people to discuss their concerns about the challenges they are facing due to increased energy and food costs, something which is due to become worse over the coming winter months.   

 

Eddie Lynch said: “I welcome the opportunity to meet with Minister Murphy today to highlight the growing fears among older people as we enter the winter months. There are older people here today who are telling the Minister first-hand about the increasing impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on their daily life. 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.

 

The Commissioner continued, “It is vital that the £400 energy payment already promised is delivered as soon as possible so people can get this help when they need it.  But this payment does not go far enough, extra financial support is desperately needed if people are to safely get through this winter.  Northern Ireland citizens are already disadvantaged by not getting the Warm Home Discount Scheme in GB, so something similar needs to be introduced here in the near future as well.”

 

Speaking about the meeting Minister of Finance, Conor Murphy added:

 

“I welcome the opportunity to meet with the Commissioner for Older People and older people today. Unfortunately, the Westminster’s Government announcement yesterday does not provide the support that citizens here so desperately need. It is also disappointing that there has been no update on when households here can expect to receive their £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme payment.

 

“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.