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Department spends more on warm homes in South Belfast than West Belfast

10 October, 2007

Sinn Féin West Belfast MLA Sue Ramsey has questioned why more money was spent on fitting new heating systems and insulation, under the Department of Social Development Warm Homes Scheme in South Belfast than in West Belfast.

In a written response from the department Margaret Ritchie confirmed that out of a total expenditure on heating and insulation measures under the scheme of £18.798 million that £925,831.60 was spent in South Belfast compared to £725,521.24 in West Belfast.

These figures include £807,744 spent on insulation measures on 194 homes in South Belfast (average £4163 per home) and £166,830 was spent on insulting 485 West Belfast homes (average £344).

In North Belfast the total value of works is £683,919 with £224,490 spent insulting 567 homes (average (£396).

Ms Ramsey said:

"Fuel poverty is a huge issue across the north but I think that people in West Belfast will be shocked to learn that Margaret Ritchie spends more on making homes warm in south Belfast than she does in West Belfast.

"It isn't just that £200,000 more was spent in South Belfast on fitting new heating system and insulation but the fact that the average spend on insulation measures in South Belfast is over £4,630 compared just £344 in West Belfast.

"I am determined to find just exactly what is going on because these figures make it look as if people in West Belfast are getting short changed by Margaret Ritchie and the department.

"While I recognise that there are some areas of severe poverty in South Belfast all of the objective data shows that we need to get more resources, particularly to address some of the very poor housing, into West Belfast." ENDS

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