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Ó Snodaigh calls for emergency fuel allowance payments

8 January, 2010 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social and Family Affairs Aengus Ó Snodaigh is calling for an emergency increment in Fuel Allowance payments for those who are struggling to heat their homes this winter given the severe weather conditions we are experiencing this month and which are predicted to continue over the coming weeks.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Urgent assistance is needed for those who find themselves in precarious circumstances this winter. Older people and families with young children must have heating in their homes so that their health is not put in jeopardy. It has been forecasted that these freezing and subzero temperatures will continue over the coming weeks with no immediate end in sight. This is extremely troubling for those already in financial difficulty.

“Additional costs for the extra necessary heating are a massive strain. By now the entire winter budget for fuel has been spent in many households across the country. It is unacceptable to ask those who rely on the fuel payment to survive these arctic temperatures in unheated buildings.

“In order that older people, children and the least well-off do not fall into bad health as a result, I am asking the Minister for Social and Family Affairs to introduce a special payment as an emergency measure. Fuel poverty is experienced by a shocking 10% of households. Families and older people should be assisted in the heating of their homes for the remainder of the winter.

“Those who need help now are those who were hit most severely by the 2010 Budget. The social welfare cuts made by this Government will further compound the fuel poverty crisis this winter. At minimum provision should be made for those who are in fuel poverty.” ENDS

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