Anderson calls for support for fuel co-ops
Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson is calling on local communities, businesses and the Executive to support a number of measures to help alleviate the fuel poverty crisis.
"I have met with a number of community and voluntary groups recently to discuss a number of proposed measures aimed at tackling fuel poverty," Ms. Anderson said.
"This follows the recent adoption of the Assembly's Child Poverty Inquiry's recommendations - including a number of specific proposals around fuel poverty.
"One of the main proposals is the creation of co-operatives which would enable local communities to pool their resources in order to bulk buy fuel at a reduced rate.
"In the coming weeks, Sinn Féin and community activists will be meeting with local residents, fuel companies and financial institutions to assess the viability of establishing fuel collectives because we feel that it is imperative that we begin to take tangible action now.
"I will also be demanding that the Executive delivers on it's commitment to find additional resources to assist communities to establish such collectives and to help low-income families who are struggling to cope with the rising cost of living.
"I am conscious that there is only a limited amount of money in the Budget, but the Child Poverty Inquiry clearly states that new and innovative measure must be found to assist low-income households.
"Among the measures proposed by the Inquiry are Lottery funding, private sector contributions and increased regulation of fuel companies to ensure they more effectively contribute to minimising costs while assistance must also be provided to help make homes more energy efficient.
"The Executive is now signed up to all of these initiatives and we need to create the demand from the ground up to ensure they are implemented." ENDS