Strangford Alliance Representative Kieran McCarthy said: “Fuel poverty is one of the key reasons why Alliance has been campaigning for a government home insulation scheme as part of a Green New Deal. This type of initiative would not only boost the construction sector but also help to lower people’s home heating bills.
“This is a time of very high oil prices, given instability in some oil producing regions and I believe that it is vital that we tackle fuel poverty and look at how we can conserve energy.
“It is staggering and simply unacceptable that 44% of people in Northern Ireland live in fuel poverty. That simply cannot continue and that is why radical solutions are needed.
“The Green New Deal proposals that Alliance has campaigned about for years not only includes an insulation scheme but would also look at further use of renewable energy, which is extremely important to help keeping home heating costs low. By producing energy naturally without the cost of oil we can have more environmentally-friendly and more affordable ways of heating homes. We need to more effectively harness the wind and wave power that we have in abundance in Northern Ireland.
“With oil prices rising and little indication that this trend is likely to change in the near future, parties need to make tackling fuel poverty a key priority. Alliance leads the way with ideas and solutions. Northern Ireland needs a radical vision to address this widespread problem.”