Prime Minister must provide clarity on support package – Murphy

Date published: 08 September 2022

Topics:

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 and said 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. 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 to determine if their business is deemed to be 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 concluded: “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.”

Turning to the uncertainty on how the measures will apply here, Minister Murphy added: “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.”

 

Notes to editors: 

1. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Finance Press Office on Tel: 028 9081 6724 or email dof.pressoffice@finance-ni.gov.uk.

2. Follow us on Twitter @dptfinance

3. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

Share this page

Back to top