The Strangford Assembly Member stated: “I welcome the findings of the Fuel Poverty Report and wish to praise the work completed by the Warm Homes Scheme.
“I am pleased that the Department of Social Development has increased anti-fuel poverty funding by £20million and I welcome this joined-up approach to government, however the Minister, David Hanson, is sending out very mixed messages.
“Today he wants to reduce poverty but yesterday he announced that rates would increase. This increase in rates, coupled with the impending introduction of the water tap tax will push more people into the poverty trap.
“How can the Minister reconcile these recent announcements, one which is combating poverty, the other which is increasing it.”