The average household in Northern Ireland is projected to benefit by £2,221 from UK support measures by the end of this financial year.
Households and businesses in Northern Ireland will benefit from UK Government spending estimated to be worth over £2 billion in 2022-23 and 2023-24 to help meet energy bills, according to new government figures.
The analysis by the Department for Levelling Up shows the average household in Northern Ireland is projected to receive around £2,221 in additional financial support from the UK Government. This equates to an 8.8% increase in the average household income.
The figures also show that poorer households across the UK benefited most from the UK Government financial support to help meet rising energy bills.
The report says the poorest 10 percent of households in Northern Ireland received an average of £2,799 in payments from the UK Government since July last year.
This is the equivalent of an extra two months’ net salary – more than 20 percent of their annual disposable income.
The overall support package for households across the UK since last summer is expected to cost an estimated £78 billion UK-wide and is the largest single fiscal intervention by the UK Government since World War II – surpassing spending on furlough support during Covid.
The Government is also working hard to ease cost of living pressures by working towards the goal of halving inflation, which will lay the foundation for the long-term growth needed to improve living standards and provide a better future for our children.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris said: ”Northern Ireland residents have faced significant challenges due to the cost of living crisis and energy price rises.
“Amidst these difficult circumstances, the UK Government has stepped in to support people. Despite energy being a devolved matter in Northern Ireland, the scale of the cost of living challenge gave us no choice but to step in.
“I’d also like to remind those on pre-payment meters to claim their UK Government vouchers worth up to £600 before June 30, to fully benefit from the support available.”
Of the £2 billion of financial support in Northern Ireland, more than £1 billion was provided in the form of the Energy Price Guarantee, which capped the energy bill for a typical home at £2,109 per year, and the additional £600 that was provided to every home to cut their energy bill.
The £600 Energy Bill Support Scheme payment was £200 more than most households in Great Britain received – reflecting the fact that around two thirds of households in Northern Ireland use home heating oil as their primary source of heat so would not have benefited from the gas component of the Energy Price Guarantee.
A further £0.7 billion was provided through targeted cost of living payments to those who already received certain UK benefit payments.
The remaining funds were spent on other support measures which included the freeze in fuel duty.
The report shows that total support in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is around £13 billion.