The UK Government are providing vital support to households and businesses across the UK to help with the rising cost of energy. This is an issue that the Secretary of State and I raise frequently with colleagues across Government, including the Business Secretary and the Energy Minister. We seek to provide urgent support for households and businesses across Northern Ireland.
The Minister has been asked several times this morning about the £400 energy support payment. What is the blockage preventing the payment from being made now, and when will this be sorted out?
The hon. Gentleman will of course understand that these schemes need to be delivered by officials, and that effort has been hampered substantially by the absence of a functioning Executive. We should all acknowledge that without an Executive, these things are more difficult to deliver. As I said earlier, we are well aware of the imperatives, and once again I urge all parties to re-form the Executive so that we can give people the prompt help that they deserve.