Households across Northern Ireland will receive a £600 energy support payment early next year to help them with their bills the UK government has announced. They will do this by funding the electricity companies directly, so then householders who pay their bills by direct debit will automatically receive the £600 in their bank accounts, which I am sure will be most welcome. For those that do not pay by direct debit they will receive vouchers to the value of £600, with more details to follow in the not too distant future as to how this will work.
Recognising An Urgent Need To Give Support To NI Consumers
The government have released a statement, as copied from an article in the Belfast Live, in which they stated that: “Recognising the urgent need for this support, NI consumers will benefit from a single, one-off £600 payment, which means that they will receive the full amount before households in Great Britain. Payments will start in January.”
In the same article Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps is quoted as saying:
“We want households in Northern Ireland to be able to keep warm this winter and reduce the worry about the consequences of turning up the thermostat. Today’s announcement provides this reassurance, and comes in addition to the Energy Price Guarantee, which has been subsidising NI energy bills since November.
“Northern Ireland energy users will be the first in the UK to receive the complete payment package offered through our Energy Bills Support Scheme. This, combined with our NI Alternative Fuel Payments, means households will receive a total of £600 from next month.”
Families Can Start The Year Knowing They Will Receive Financial Support
And Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris is also quoted, saying: “I am acutely aware of the uncertainty and frustration that people across Northern Ireland have felt about their energy bill support. Families can start the new year knowing that they will receive the full support from January.
“I am grateful that officials and Ministers and energy suppliers have found a solution, especially given the complexity of NI’s energy market, although I would have liked to have seen Northern Ireland political parties deliver this, as part of a restored Executive.”
A restored Executive does not appear on the cards just yet, so this is a welcome intervention by the UK government. And this financial aid given to the public will put more money in their pockets, which will hopefully filter down through the retailing industry and other areas of the economy, which can only be good news.