326%+ Increase Gas Prices In A Year, With More To Come, As Families Abandoned By Stormont
On foot of warnings of further gas price hikes from the Utilities Regulator, Aontú Rep for East Derry, Gemma Brolly, has decried the cost of living crisis facing so many families and business, whilst the Stormont Executive looks on.
Rep Brolly: “The latest report from the Utilities Regulator makes for harrowing reading. A 326% increase in gas prices from December 2020 to December 2021. A 22% increase from November to December, with December gas prices hitting a record high. A further warning that prices are not expected to fall anytime soon, with fears of more than 30% price increases in the coming weeks. This is on top of 10% increases in the price of houses, electricity price increases of more than 21% - not to mention the spiking cost of consumer goods or the weekly shop. Families and businesses are being hammered by a cost of living crisis, only serving to worsen the rampant inequality prevalent in the North. More 650,000 people in the North are living either relative or absolute poverty. If this crisis prevails, that number will only get worse.”
“All the while the Stormont Establishment is either sitting idly by or making things worse. The choice seems to be between inaction or mistake. Sinn Féin, the SDLP, Alliance, the DUP and the UUP have an overwhelming majority in the Assembly to improve the lot of the people in the North – but continuously fail to do so. From cutbacks to the Universal Credit potentially plunging 11,000 children into poverty, to the cost of a school uniform is a barrier to education, to the Emergency Fuel Payment Scheme unavailable to many. The bread and butter issues that matter and the needs of our communities play second fiddle to partisanship and politics. It really is time for the Stormont Establishment to wake up.”