Lo presses for extension of special hardship criteria for Boiler Replacement Scheme

Party spokesperson, and Chair of the Committee for the Environment, Anna Lo MLA, is pressing for the extension of the Boiler Replacement Scheme criteria. Anna raised the issue at the Environment Committee today and the Committee is going to write to the Department for Social Development to ask if they would consider extending the criteria for the Boiler Replacement Scheme. This scheme is not available for those in receipt of Pension Credit, Lone Pensioner’s Allowance or Housing Benefit, however; Anna Lo believes that special circumstances should be allowed for people over 60 in receipt of these allowances who are experiencing hardship through either health circumstances or those who have no personal savings.

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.”


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