Heating or eating - that’s the choice that many local people face every winter. With 44% of households in Northern Ireland in fuel poverty, finding ways to end this problem has become a top priority for the Assembly’s Social Development Committee.
Last night the Social Development Committee hosted a ground breaking event to find solutions to fuel poverty. Representatives from across the community, public and private sectors joined members from eight Assembly Committees and officials from relevant Government Departments to look at what is being done and look at new ways of helping people to beat fuel poverty.
We caught up with Committee Chair Alex Maskey MLA to find out more:
“People here are spending more than three times that of households in England on heating their homes and this is something that this Committee finds unacceptable. This key event is the first step in what will be a rolling programme of work for the Committee. We want to examine the causes of fuel poverty, to understand why the problem is worse here and crucially to find real and workable ways to halt this scourge and to make fuel poverty a thing of the past.
“This event has been a remarkable opportunity for important stakeholders from across all sectors to share experiences, ideas and knowledge. Fuel poverty is serious and we are serious about ending it.