Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said action is needed to address the concerns of industry on a potential carbon dioxide supply shortage.
And she said that the Economy Minister has a responsibility to outline what action he is taking to ensure that the supply of carbon dioxide is maintained.
The party’s economy spokesperson said:
“News reports over the past 24 hours have highlighted the ongoing concern around the shortage in supply of carbon dioxide in Britain which has been caused by companies ceasing production due to high energy costs.
“Carbon dioxide is vitally important in a number of sectors including food production, and in health and pharmaceuticals.
“The president of the Ulster Farmers Union has expressed concerns for the local meat industry.
“Bafflingly the Economy Minister yesterday, when asked how exposed industry here was to the shortage, told my colleague Gerry Kelly that the issue was not pertinent to his department.
“On the contrary this issue could directly be impacting businesses here in the near future so I’d like to hear from the Minister what action he is taking to ensure adequate carbon dioxide supply is maintained for industry if the situation in Britain persists.
“This shortage could have a further knock-on effect of increased costs, putting more pressure on workers and families here at a time when increased electricity and gas prices are already hitting hard.”