John Brady TD calls on Government to provide additional Fuel Allowance payment
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection, John Brady TD, has called on the Government to issue a one-off additional Fuel Allowance payment to those who need it during the cold spell this week.
Speaking this morning, Teachta Brady said:
“Every year in Ireland, there is between 1,800 and 2,000 excess winter deaths. For older people particularly, those living alone cold weather poses serious health risks.
“Yesterday, older people were advised to prioritise fuel and not to worry about paying for it until another day. This advice is well and good but the reality is that older people will worry about their fuel bills with many older people used to rationing fuel weekly just to get by.
“I am calling on the Government to provide an additional fuel allowance payment this week either through a top up payment amount or a double fuel allowance payment.
“We must be conscious that there are other vulnerable groups in society who will need assistance during the severely cold weather promised this week. Lone parents, those living alone, people with disabilities and those who are suffering with a long term illness must also be assisted.
“I have heard Government representatives referring to the Exceptional Needs Payment and the Urgent Needs Payment however; these are not guaranteed payments and are, instead at the discretion of Community Welfare Offices across the State.
“There is an onus on the Government to ensure that no person is left without adequate heat in their homes during cold weather. We need clarity as to what exactly will be put in place to ensure that nobody suffers financially as a result of increased fuel costs this week.”