Hard pressed families will be further hit by a huge increase in prices announced by Firmus Gas, Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said.
The party’s economy spokesperson was commenting after Firmus confirmed that prices for its network outside Belfast would soar by 35% in October.
Caoimhe Archibald said:
“This is another huge increase in gas prices and another huge blow for already hard-pressed families.
“It follows the recent move by SSE Airtricity to hike its prices by 22% and Firmus has indicated that more is to follow with an announcement on its Belfast network also due.
“Many families, workers and pensioners here are still reeling from the British Government’s attack on their livelihoods by increasing national Insurance contributions, ditching pension protections and cutting Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit.
“They simply will not be able to absorb these additional costs and there is no doubt that more households will be pushed into poverty as a result.
“It is particularly concerning given that it comes as we enter winter when the demand for gas will significantly increase.
“I have written to the utility regulator highlighting my concern on the scale of these increases and urging him to ensure energy companies are doing everything they can to cut the costs passed on to customers.
“Just like the British Government’s attack on workers, pensioners and families, these hikes in energy costs will hit hardest on those already least able to afford it.”