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28 Nov 2021

Power NI price rise a huge blow to Derry's workers and families

Foyle MLA Ferguson calls British government to remove VAT on energy bills as energy firm blames increase on global wholesale prices

Power NI price rise a huge blow to Derry's workers and families

Foyle MLA Ciara Ferguson said of Power NI's price rise that "those hardest hit by this will be low-paid workers and middle income families".

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Ciara Ferguson has slammed energy suppliers, Power NI, for inflicting a huge blow to Derry's workers and families.

Power NI's announcement that prices for domestic customers were to rocket by 21.4 per cent next January.

This will mean an extra £2.51 per week to your energy which will amount to paying out £131 a year more than Power NI users did 12 months ago.

Power NI has blamed the rise on the increase in global wholesale gas prices but MS Ferguson says that will cut little ice with Derry households already struggling to make ends meet.

She said: “News that hard-pressed families are set to be hit with another price hike will come as another huge blow.

“As with all such price hikes, those hardest hit by this will be low-paid workers and middle income families. Many of these families are already struggling to make ends meet.

“We are in the middle of a cost of living crisis as energy prices soar largely due to global demand issues at the same time as inflation is rising and food and other costs are increasing.

“Sinn Féin is calling on the British government to remove VAT on energy bills during this global price spike to help support families.

“It should also explore a windfall tax on energy generators similar to that introduced in other European states and redirect the money raised towards tackling fuel poverty.”

In response, William Steele, director of Power NI customer solutions, said: “We work very hard to keep our prices as low as possible, but regrettably there has been a rapid and sustained increase in wholesale gas prices over recent months.

“ Like other suppliers, we have no choice but to pay these increased costs, which feed into the cost of wholesale electricity and have a knock-on effect on our tariffs.

“As soon as we see an opportunity to reduce prices, we will do so without delay. For any customers who are worried about paying a bill, please get in contact and we can help you.”


 

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