Treasury pledge ‘belies SF claim on energy payments’

The UK Treasury’s pledge to ensure every household in Northern Ireland will receive a £400 energy bill discount proves that Sinn Fein and their allies in the Assembly manufactured claims that no Executive meant no emergency payments, DUP MP Sammy Wilson has said.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 8:08 am

The East Antrim MP welcomed the chief secretary to the Treasury’s commitment that the Province will receive the emergency energy support this autumn despite the absence of power-sharing government.

Mr Wilson said: “It was disgraceful that Sinn Fein, aided by their wee helpers in the Alliance Party and the SDLP, sought to manufacture a crisis over this matter by threatening that Northern Ireland would not get the energy support payment.

“Whilst Sinn Fein and their wee helpers were politically posturing, it was the DUP that was presenting papers to the Treasury outlining the type of supports that are needed to help families.”

Sammy Wilson

He continued: “The DUP proposed a windfall tax in our manifesto and supported the idea in Westminster when others were squabbling. It is this windfall tax which will, in part, pay for this package of supports. It was the DUP that proposed the targeting of money to help families struggling the most rather than a one-size fits all approach.

“It was the DUP that proposed the money be delivered in the most effective way through Westminster rather than relying on an inept finance minister who, when Stormont was fully functioning, even failed to produce a budget acceptable to any party but his own.”

Stressing that there was plenty of time for the Treasury to steer the £400 payments into people’s pockets in the Province, Mr Wilson added: “Despite the doom-mongering of the pro-protocol parties, we will stick to our promise that until the protocol is resolved an Executive will not be formed but at the same time, we will use our influence to address the real challenges faced by families across the country.”

Ulster Unionist chief whip in the new Assembly Andy Allen called yesterday for the Westminster government to set out how they intend to distribute the £400 energy bill discounts.

Mr Allen was speaking after a meeting with the Utility Regulator John French when they discussed the ongoing costs of the energy crisis.

Writing in the News Letter Simon Clarke MP, chief secretary to the Treasury, said his team are “urgently working” on getting the £400 of support for bills here.