HEAT OR EAT – IRSP Protest in Strabane
The IRSP along residents of Strabane today took the action of burning a bag of coal in a defined pollution free zone to highlight the absurdity of attempts to prosecute working class people for heating their homes.
Gina McElroy of the IRSP said, “If you find yourself spending 10% or more of your weekly income on heating your home then you are living in fuel poverty. Then you are allowed to burn all fuel types to heat your home, you cannot be prosecuted by the council, even if you live within the zoned area. Strabane District Council’s failure to publically inform the people who live in the areas affected that this by-law exists is testimony to their negligence.”
She continued; “The IRSP are calling on Stormont to re-evaluate their fuel poverty payment policy, currently the temperature has to be below 0 degrees for 7 days or more before payments are issued. Even then it’s a select few who are entitled to it, and it depends on what area you live in, it’s a post code lottery. Nelson McCausland and the DSDs tinkering with the statistics of people living in fuel poverty in the North is fooling nobody,”
Ms McElroy concluded; “How can Nelson McCausland and the Stormont puppet regime justify this, they have slashed the statistics of people living in fuel poverty in the North from 44% to 13% in the space of one week. Evidence that most homes will slip into fuel poverty this winter has been produced by Professor Christine Liddell, she revealed that 75,000 households in the North are in fuel poverty today, and that the vast majority sit near the 10% income to fuel ratio. The tampering with the official way these figures are produced is nothing short of a back tracking exercise by Stormont officials to prop up their failing sectarian state.”