DOWN District SDLP Councillor Peter Craig has spoken out following news that Firmus Energy is raising its prices by more than a third.
Recent widespread fears that rising fuel prices are creating a new group in our society, the ‘fuel poor’, has angered Councillor Craig has expressed his frustration at an energy company proposing to increase its prices again.
He said, “Firmus Energy serves 10 towns across the North as well as Belfast – given this recent announcement I am glad that none of these towns are within Down District. A 39% hike is alarming and will have devastating consequences for many customers. We remain in extremely difficult times… businesses are under huge pressures which has a direct effect on the personal livelihoods of the majority of our population.
“This further blow will certainly land even more people, many of whom are already vulnerable, into fuel poverty. This latest hike comes against the backdrop of a newly published survey by the Citizen Advice Bureau showing that one third of our elderly people have had to choose between heating and eating. Something must be done and done radically, as the North of Ireland has the highest level of fuel poverty in the UK, with 44 per cent of households struggling to pay their energy bills and to heat their homes.”
The Northern Ireland Association of Citizen Advice Bureaux released a stinging report last week indicating that the rising prices will hit an increasing number of people and that action was required particularly at government level.