Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has tasked officials to focus policies and funding on supporting people through the cost of living crisis.
The Minister today said she is listening to families and workers who are struggling to make ends meet and is committed to responding to the issue by ensuring the department's resources are effectively targeted to those who are in need.
Following a meeting with the department's Permanent secretary Colum Boyle and senior team on budget planning, Minister Hargey said:
"I am committed to continuing to support workers, families and communities who are experiencing real hardship. To giving them the helping hand they need to heat their homes, to put a meal on the table.
"Of course we know that the absence of a functioning Executive and no budget in place for this year, makes the challenge all the greater. Vital funding is locked away. New laws cannot be made.
"But we have a track record here for making things happen, for achieving positive change.
"I am determined that my department will continue to deliver for all those who are in need.
"I have tasked my officials to fully explore and expedite all of the options open to us.
"And I will continue to meet with local organisations and community groups to hear more about what is happening on the ground, to listen to their concerns and to find out about creative partnerships that are making a real difference."