Northern Ireland set to be region hardest hit by fuel poverty in the UK amidst rising energy bills

Northern Ireland is set to be hardest hit by fuel poverty this winter.

Northern Ireland is set to be worst affected part of the UK in terms of fuel poverty levels.

According to the University of York study, 76.3% of families here will be battling to make ends meet by January 2023.

The research published by the Guardian comes amidst rising energy bills and soaring inflation, which is already at a 40 year high.

The Utility Regulator has told UTV there is "no upside at the moment for consumers".

The warning from John French comes amid predicted gas price rises for SSE Airtricity and Firmus Energy customers in Northern Ireland.

It is expected the price hike will be around 30%.

On Monday, the Chancellor held talks with Stormont Ministers and announced a new joint taskforce to try and resolve the uncertainty over £400 energy payments.

They are set to be rolled out in Great Britain from the autumn but there are questions around how they will be made in Northern Ireland in the absence of a functioning Executive.

The UK government will make the payments to try and help households with the escalating crisis.

With rising costs, a Belfast man has told of how he is struggling to eat while continuing to heat his home.

Sean Kane who lives alone - and suffers a number of health issues - says he worries about how families are coping during this cost-of-living crisis.

"I'm having to make decisions like do I go without a meal tonight and put gas in, or do I go without gas and put a blanket round me and eat.

"And at the minute, with not being well, I have to eat and just wrap myself up really well."

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