Hain response to fuel poverty 'too little, too fragmented'
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Poverty, North Belfast MLA Kathy Stanton has said that Peter Hain's comments about the installation of solar panels in up to 600 Housing Executive homes as part Environment and Renewable Energy Fund only serves to reinforce the belief that the approach to tackling fuel poverty that is too little, too late and too fragmented.
Ms Stanton said:
"While the objective for reducing the cost of heating to some 600 Housing Executive homes is admirable in itself it does highlight just how low the targets are for tackling fuel poverty.
"When the Environment and Renewable Energy Fund was first announced Sinn Féin highlighted the fact that a major opportunity to put in place targets that would meaningfully tackle the true scale of the problem had been missed. 600 homes only represents the tip of the iceberg, particularly when the target is compared to the many hundreds of older people who die each year as a result of the cold - deaths that are avoidable.
"At every twist and turn the approach to eradicating fuel poverty is minimal and disjointed. Fuel poverty affects 1 in 3 and each year over 1000 older people die because of cold weather. It is a case of too little, too late and too fragmented." ENDS