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Fuel allowance for many pensioners will be cut under Social Welfare and Pensions Bill – Ó Snodaigh

15 June, 2011 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

The Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton today admitted that fuel allowance will be eliminated for most 65 to 67 year olds as a result of the increase in the pension age after being questioned on the matter by Sinn Féin Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh today.

During priority questions in the Dáil today Deputy Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister if she was aware that by pushing the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill through the house this week she will be excluding 65 year olds from the fuel allowance in 2014 and subsequently 66 an 67 year olds also. He asked whether any account had been taken of the situation these older people will find themselves in from 2014.

Speaking afterwards he said: “The Minister’s response suggests that consideration is only being given to insulation and retrofitting of houses to make them more energy efficient which obviously has to happen regardless of the changes in pension age.

“However she failed to identify any measure to financially compensate older people for the absence of the fuel allowance which they will badly need in order to pay for home heating fuel.

“If we have a repeat of the weather of last winter in 2014 I have no doubt that we will see avoidable deaths occurring as a result of this government decision.” ENDS

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