HOUSEHOLDS in the North are to receive up to £1,000 in financial support, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.

However, confusion remains how this is to be administered here, due to the Executive not sitting over the DUP abstaining over the Protocol.

The British Treasury has confirmed the most vulnerable households in the North of Ireland will get support up to £650, paid in two instalments in June and the autumn, while all families will receive £400 in October.

The payments are to assist families battling the cost-of-living crisis and increasing energy costs.

However, due to the DUP blocking of Stormont, Finance Minister Conor Murphy said there is "no guarantee" households in the North would receive the £400.

"We will certainly work as best we can because we are determined to ensure the money goes to the people who need it," he said.

Rishi Sunak said that he was aware people in the North were experiencing anxiety over rising bills and energy prices.

"We are introducing a package of measures to help with the cost of living that will support the most vulnerable households in Northern Ireland by up to £1,000," he said.

"To help pay for this, we are going to introduce a temporary, targeted levy on the windfall profits the oil and gas sector is seeing due to exceptionally high oil and gas prices while still encouraging the investment that creates jobs.”

SDLP MLA Matthew O'Toole said the DUP can not be allowed to hold up the payments to struggling families.

“There are people in our community whose everyday life is a struggle," he said.

"Families who cannot afford to put food on the table, who skip meals to feed their children and pensioners forced to wear extra clothes in cold houses in a vain attempt to keep warm.

"The DUP needs to look these people in the eye and tell them why they won’t return to government so that people can receive this vital support."

Also announced by the Chancellor is a one-off £300 pensioner cost of living payment and an extra £150 payment to those on disability benefits.