SDLP Rural Communities Spokesperson Patsy McGlone has said that a number of farmers are experiencing issues claiming their £600 energy support payment.
Farmers who only have access to a business account for their banking have been unable to avail of the scheme.
Mr McGlone has raised the issue with the British government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) after being contacted by constituents who have been affected.
Mid Ulster MLA Mr McGlone said, “I have been contacted by a number of farmers in the area who are concerned that they could not access their long-awaited £600 energy support payment because they do not have an active personal bank account. The farming community had to wait longer than others to avail of this payment and this latest issue has left many worrying that they will not receive the payment at all.
“Like everyone else in the North, the farming community has suffered as a result of spiralling energy costs, with farmers having to pay increased costs to run their homes and operate their businesses. This is a difficult time for many people struggling as a result of the cost of living emergency and it’s important that people are not blocked from getting the support they need.
“I have made direct contact with the BEIS on behalf of those affected and have called for them to urgently change the scheme so that farmers who have a sole bank account for domestic and businesses purposes can receive the payment without being unfairly penalised. I have also spoken with energy suppliers and the Ulster Farmers Union who are aware of this issue and am hopeful of seeing a quick solution so that farmers receive the money they are entitled to.”