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Dickson Highlights Alliance Proposals to Combat Cost of Living Crisis

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has highlighted the Alliance Party’s proposals to combat the cost of living crisis in Northern Ireland.

Mr Dickson said: “The cost of living crisis means that people in Northern Ireland are struggling to pay for food, gas, electric, and everyday items - the things we all need in order to get by.

“People are unable to heat their homes, and are having to live in cold, damp houses. Families, including those with very young children, are going hungry. It is no longer a choice of heating or eating, some families simply can’t afford either”.

Mr Dickson went on to explain that: “The burden will be placed on the poorest and most vulnerable in our society because their bills are a larger proportion of their income, and because those living in social housing will find their houses are often woefully insulated.

The circumstances pushing people into poverty, and the lack of a comprehensive response to alleviate it, is a shameful scandal”.

Mr Dickson commented that: “With £300m available to the Executive to spend in 2022/23, the fact that it is sitting idle and cannot be allocated due to the lack of a functioning Executive, is maddening.

“With the DUP resigning from the First Minister position, and the imminent dissolution of the Assembly, the people of Northern Ireland have been left in an appalling situation.

“If the DUP continue to grandstand, it would be the Alliance Party’s preferred and widely known solution, that parties should be able to form a Voluntary Coalition, ending the ability of either of the largest parties to exercise such a veto inhibiting establishment of an Executive.

“Without any progress on the DUP nominating a First Minister, or the development of a voluntary coalition, the UK Government must bring forward schemes and budget legislation, as was done in 2017-2019”.

Mr Dickson concluded by saying: “The options available to us are not ideal, but the situation has become desperate, and we have to put people first”.

The Alliance Party proposals can be found here: under Policies and Cost of Living.

Immediate proposals include:

1. Home Heating Grant to supplement the Winter Fuel Payment.

2. Child Payment Scheme to payment per child for any family with children in receipt of Free School Meals.

3. Fuel Duty reduction for fixed period.

4. Tax on energy companies’ super profits.

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