Saturday, 13 December 2008

Energy price cuts wrangle

AFTER its hiatus from work, the Northern Ireland Executive has been plunging headlong into adopting a series of measures, which this week coming will see the focus shift to tackling fuel poverty.

The Executive proposals are expected to be aired during Monday’s Assembly plenary session, but SDLP leader stole some of the thunder by telling media outlets that energy prices are expected to fall by 20% for gas and 10% for electricity.

SDLP Leader Mark Durkan seemed to be trying to breathe life into the proposals submitted to the Executive by Margaret Ritchie, Social Development Minister and SDLP colleague.
It is understand that their will be an Executive statement on Monday announcing that a contribution in the region of £150 - £200 will be paid into the electricity accounts of the most vulnerable in Northern Ireland. This will cost approximately £13 million.

There are no shortage of pundits, listeners and fed-up punters across all the media outlets reminding us all that despite the cuts, prices will remain higher than this time last year…
Over the weekend expect researchers and advisers to be hastily scribbling crib notes for Monday’s debate all about ‘focussing on real issues’ and caring that something gets done. Of course the weather may much warmer when it does reach those that need help during the current cold snap…

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