Anna Lo MLA said: “Between June 2011 and the start of November, only 114 applications for this scheme had been formally approved. There was total of only around 500 applications at the start of last month, and such a change could help increase the level of uptake.
“By creating special hardship criteria for Housing Benefit, Pension Credit or Lone Pensioner’s Allowance applicants who either experience health problems or have no personal savings then this scheme could work to help more people over the age of 60 who could face difficulties heating their home, especially during this cold weather.
“The Boiler Replacement Scheme is key to delivering efficient energy usage. The environmental benefits of realising the potential of this scheme are abundantly clear and that is why I raised the issue of extending the criteria for the scheme.”