Commenting on today’s debate, which she is taking part in, South Belfast Alliance MLA Anna Lo stated: “The time to act to prevent many people from facing a winter of hardship and fuel poverty is now.
“It is always the most vulnerable people in our society that get hit hardest on the issue of fuel poverty. Many older people and families on low incomes suffer greatly during the winter, and Margaret Ritchie must not forget about them when she is making representations to the Finance Minister over her departmental budget.
“In England and Scotland, 9% and 17% of households respectively are fuel poor – in Northern Ireland that figure is 33% of all households.
“We need strong legislation and a healthy funding package from the Social Development Minister to alleviate this widespread problem.”