Following conversations with Graham Stuart MP, Minister of State for Climate and Energy at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Isles MP Angus MacNeil says he remains optimistic that all households in Na h-Eileanan an Iar will receive the £200 Alternative Fuel Payment. This payment is to support households that use alternative fuels, such as heating oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), coal, or biomass.
The UK government announced that eligible households would receive the £200 Alternative Fuel Payment but that all households in Northern Ireland would receive it due to the prevalence of alternative fuel usage.
Mr MacNeil highlighted that the use of alternative fuels is a lot higher in Na h-Eileanan an Iar than in Northern Ireland and that in the spirit of fairness, all households in Na h-Eileanan an Iar should also receive this support.
Commenting Mr MacNeil said:
“I have been campaigning on this for a while now and have raised this with the Prime Minister a few weeks ago in Parliament, since it became clear that all households in Northern Ireland will receive £200 Alternative Fuel Payment.
“We know that fuel is more expensive, fuel poverty is higher and 88% of households in the Hebrides are off-grid and use alternative fuels compared to 76% in Northern Ireland.
“Nothing is guaranteed yet, but I remain optimistic, after speaking twice with BEIS Minister Graham Stuart, that if all households in Northern Ireland are getting £200 then all households in Na h-Eileanan an Iar will get this money too. I have made the case, the Minister, to his credit, seems to be very fair and clearly understands the issue and the geographically distinct reality of the islands, so now it is a case of waiting for full confirmation that this will happen.”