More than 100 charity leaders, community activists and academics across Northern Ireland have joined in a joint plea for urgent action to tackle the life crisis.

The letter, published on Thursday, calls for a new Stormont executive to be formed immediately.

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It has been signed up by groups such as Extern NI, Action Mental Health, Parenting NI and Survivors of Suicide.

“Local households of all shapes and sizes are being hit by rising living costs,” he wrote.

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“Energy bills have risen by hundreds of pounds a year, with record levels of inflation.
Making essentials like food and fuel unaffordable, and neither wages nor social security
Support is increased enough to cushion the blow.

“The weak cost of living is forcing people in Northern Ireland to make increasingly desperate decisions to survive from week to week.”

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Representatives say they are aware of “heartbreaking stories” of people having to skip meals and turn off their heating to avoid rising costs.

His letter also includes references to people “making their own sanitary products because they can’t afford to get them any other way”.

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Ruth Waterson, chairperson of Maghera Cross Community Link – an organization that provides community resources and a food bank to the area – told the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster on Thursday morning that people were “because they don’t know what to do”.

“We have people who help with our running costs, but our electricity has more than doubled,” he said.

“We have people come to the food bank and they don’t know what to do, it’s food or warmth, they can’t afford both. Instead of asking for food, they ask us for oil and oil. kind of stuff.”

Ms Waterson said the £100 extra payment for home heating oil, which will be given to households across the UK who are unable to get support for heating costs through the Energy Price Guarantee, was “not enough”.

“Most places around here won’t even deliver (oil) unless you’re ordering over £200 so it’s a £100 deposit where people are struggling. £200 worth of heating. How long will the oil work?

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