Alliance Health spokesperson Kieran McCarthy has said that the threat of fuel poverty this winter is only the tip of the iceberg, and said that free personal care for the elderly remains a primary Alliance Party objective.
The Strangford MLA stated: “We seem to be in for a particularly bitter winter and I am supporting the campaign backed by local authorities in Northern Ireland for extra money to be made to tackle fuel poverty. What kind of civilised society allows its older citizens to struggle through the winter wondering if they can afford to heat themselves? Clearly it is totally unacceptable.
“However, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. If we are truly serious about looking after our older citizens, we should state it loud and clear by introducing free personal care. The truth is the direct-rule ministers and the former Executive parties have failed abjectly to act on this issue when they had the chance.
“What kind of society are we, when we prefer to spend public money on carving up our public services and facilities along sectarian lines, rather than directly on the vulnerable people who need it? The simple fact is if we go without the luxury of segregation, we can afford to look after our elderly – winter fuel payments, free personal care and all.”