Support needed and needed now – Murphy

Date published: 28 September 2022

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has written to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury asking for the £100 home heating oil scheme to be urgently reviewed.

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Making the case for additional support, Minister Murphy stated: “On Friday I  met with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and conveyed my disappointment at the Chancellor’s failure to support those in need, help small businesses and provide additional funding for public services. I reiterated how inadequate the home heating oil scheme is for people living here. Offering households a derisory £100 will not provide sufficient support for the 70% of households here in the North who rely on oil to heat their homes.

“During that meeting the Chief Secretary indicated it would be unfair for anyone to be disproportionately impacted through the Energy Support announcements due to the type of fuel they use. To try and progress this issue I have written to the Chief Secretary providing information on the average annual energy bills in the North. This information clearly demonstrates that oil users have experienced significant hikes over the last year. The Westminster Government must act now to expand the home heating oil scheme to ensure the citizens here are not disadvantaged.”

Minister Murphy concluded: “The adverse reaction of the financial markets to last Friday’s fiscal announcement means that higher borrowing and mortgage costs are now expected. Clearly a different plan is needed. I have urged Treasury to look again at a reduction in VAT to help small businesses at this time of crisis, an uplift in welfare benefits to help vulnerable families, funding to enable continued delivery of public services, and a fair pay rise for public sector workers.

“Support is needed and it is needed now if people are to keep their homes warm and if businesses are to keep their lights on.”

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.
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