TUV leader Jim Allister seeks guidance in relation to 'issues arising' within farming community in connection with energy support payment
A local MLA has written to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, to outline “practical issues” arising within the farming community in connection with a £600 payment to help households with energy bills.
In his letter, leader of the TUV, Jim Allister, states: “Normally, a farmhouse is metered with the rest of the farm and therefore, I presume, is considered as part of the farm business.
“How will such householders benefit from the £600 scheme?” Mr Allister asks.
“Indeed, in one case, a constituent has raised with me a situation whereby not only the farmhouse is metered with the farm, but also a farm worker’s dwelling, with the farm worker then paying his electricity as part of the rent.
“Again will the farm worker, as a consumer, be able to benefit and, if so, how?” he adds.
Mr Allister has asked the Secretary of State for “relevant guidance”, including how farms, in general, are receiving energy assistance.
Earlier this week, the UK government confirmed details of a single £600 payment for households in Northern Ireland.
Payments will start in January 2023. This will be made up of £400 of support under the government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme Northern Ireland (EBSS NI), and £200 of support under the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) scheme, which will go to all households in Northern Ireland irrespective of how they heat their home.
Customers who pay by Direct Debit will receive the £600 into their bank account directly. Other customers will be sent a voucher to redeem the £600 payment, with further details of how they will work to be set out shortly.