Major price hikes by two electricity suppliers in Northern Ireland

Two electricity suppliers in Northern Ireland have announced major price hikes.

Budget Energy is increasing prices by 27% from Friday (27 May), while SSE Airtricity is set to increase prices by 33% from the 1 June.

These increases will effect three in ten households - that's nearly a quarter of a million domestic customers here.

Last week Northern Ireland's biggest electricity supplier Power NI increased its prices by over 27%.

On Thursday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he would legislate for Northern Ireland to receive a share of £15billion to help deal with the cost of living crisis.

Announcing a raft of measures in the Commons, the chancellor said: "This is a significant set of interventions to support the most vulnerable in our country.

"We will legislate to deliver this support on the same terms in every part of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland. Taken together, our direct cash payments will help one third of all UK households with cost of living support worth £9 billion."

The Treasury has confirmed the most vulnerable households in Northern Ireland will get support up to £1,000.

However, there are concerns over how a £400 payment to each household can be distributed without a functioning Executive.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy told UTV News that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke had "recognised" that the lack of an Executive "creates problems" with NI receiving and allocating the payment.

The minister said he would work with the Treasury to find a solution, but that "the quickest and simplest solution" would be a resumption of government at Stormont.