Sir Jeffrey: PM must take action on cost of living crisis

DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has called on the Prime Minister to take action on the cost of living crisis.

He raised the issue during Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons today, pointing to increased costs faced by people in Northern Ireland who face higher bills than other parts of the UK.

Commenting he said, "Right across the UK people are facing a cost of living crisis. With the end of furlough, the decision to scrap the universal credit uplift, rising inflation and the destabilising effect of continuing tensions between Russia and Ukraine on already soaring energy costs, vulnerable and working households will struggle to keep their heads above water.

In Northern Ireland however, the Protocol imposes even greater costs upon families struggling to keep their heads above water. It is now 27% more expensive to bring goods into Northern Ireland which is further increasing the price of goods here and denying consumers the choice enjoyed by people in other parts of the UK.

On top of that, it is still not clear whether any decision to abolish VAT on energy bills would even apply to Northern Ireland because we remain tied to the EU's VAT regime. The Utility Regulator has warned just today that gas customers here face another 30% price hike and home heating oil is at its highest price since 2013. The impact of the Protocol is not just some political debate, but is picking the pocket of every family in Northern Ireland.

The Government and the Prime Minister in particular needs to take action on the cost of living crisis. That includes removing the Irish Sea border and the trade barriers imposing additional costs on Northern Ireland."

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