| 11.6°C Belfast

First cost-of-living £326 support payment will be paid to vulnerable people in Northern Ireland next month

Close

Deirdre Hargey, Minister for Communities, talks to the press in the Markets area of Belfast where she announced cost of living payments were going ahead in July (Presseye).

Deirdre Hargey, Minister for Communities, talks to the press in the Markets area of Belfast where she announced cost of living payments were going ahead in July (Presseye).

Deirdre Hargey, Minister for Communities, talks to the press in the Markets area of Belfast where she announced cost of living payments were going ahead in July (Presseye).

A £326 payment to help with the cost-of-living for those most vulnerable in Northern Ireland is set to be issued next month, the Department for Communities has confirmed.

The second payment – taking the total support as part of the UK Government scheme to £650 – will be issued in the autumn.

Those eligible for the funds are those on income-related and disability benefits, as well as pensioners.

Those in receipt of both Child and Working Tax Credits will also receive a payment of £650 paid in two instalments in autumn and winter 2022.

Those receiving disability benefits will also individually receive £150.

While the minister has set out some of the financial support incoming, the statement is yet to clarify when an expected £400 energy bill discount is expected.

The £400 discount was also announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, but questions were raised last month whether the payment could be offered given the lack of a Northern Ireland Executive.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke MP previously claimed the government was “urgently working” to ensure the money, or what he described as “the equivalent”, can be issued to people here, however further details have yet to emerge.

During a visit to Cardiff on Wednesday alongside other UK finance ministers, Stormont’s Conor Murphy met to discuss soaring bills and the rising cost-of-living.

"I also reiterated to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury the need to ensure the citizens of the north are not disadvantaged when it comes to the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme payment because of the absence of an Executive.

"We have committed to continue the engagement between my Department and Treasury to ensure a solution is found to deliver support locally.”

Speaking about the financial support, minister Deirdre Hargey said: “I can confirm direct payments to thousands of families, individuals, low-income workers and pensioners.

“While these payments are a step in the right direction, they do not go far enough to protect all those impacted. Many people are struggling, including workers and families who are not eligible for benefits.

“The absence of a functioning Executive and no budget in place makes the challenge of dealing with these issues all the greater.

“Money needs to be put directly into the pockets of people who desperately need it.

“I am committed to doing all I can to mitigate the real and damaging impacts people are enduring.

“That is why I have reconvened the Emergencies Leadership Group as part of my strategic response to the crisis, bringing together leaders from the community and voluntary sector who are on the frontline, assisting workers, families and communities who are enduring real hardship as the crisis deepens.”

Those eligible for the payment to those in receipt of the following means tested benefits: Universal Credit, State Pension Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support.

Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy met with his counterparts across the UK to discuss soaring bills and the rising cost-of-living.


Top Videos



Privacy