John Brady TD welcomes Minister Doherty’s change of mind on Report into Fuel Allowance
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has welcomed Minister Doherty’s change of mind on examining the effectiveness of the current rates and payment period of the Fuel Allowance.
Minister Doherty announced that a review of the Fuel Allowance would be carried out despite refusing to do so during deliberations of the Social Welfare Bill late last year.
Speaking following the debate, Teachta Brady said:
“I welcome the fact that Minister Doherty has now decided to examine Fuel Allowance in the context of the effectiveness of the payment in its current form.
“During deliberations on the Social Welfare Bill late last year I submitted an amendment to the Bill seeking such a report.
"Despite agreeing to accept the amendment on the condition it was re-worded, Minister Doherty then rowed back and opposed the amendment.
“While this was extremely disappointing given the fact that anecdotal evidence suggests that cuts to the Fuel Allowance have been detrimental for low income households and older people, I welcome the Minister’s acknowledgment that there is an issue with the incidence of fuel poverty.
“We know that Ireland currently has the highest levels of excess winter mortality in Europe with an estimated 2,800 excess deaths during each year.
"We also know that 28% of households are experiencing fuel poverty. These are exactly the reasons why we must see this report carried out and I welcome the Minister’s intention to conduct this review within the next couple of weeks.”