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Fuel allowance should be extended to cover un-seasonal June and July - Ó Snodaigh

24 July, 2007

Dublin  Sinn  Féin  TD  Aengus Ó Snodaigh has again called on the Minister  for  Social  and Family Affairs to introduce a one-off payment for social welfare  recipients  qualifying for fuel allowance to cover additional  fuel  costs  incurred due  un-seasonal  weather  conditions throughout June and July.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“The fuel allowance assists state pension and social welfare recipients with their fuel costs throughout the traditionally colder seasons – from the end of September to mid-April.  It is not paid from the end of April through to start of September as the Government deems it unnecessary throughout the summer months.

“However, due to the un-seasonal weather conditions throughout the summer, which has seen the wettest June and July on recent record, an additional burden has been placed on families and older people who have had to increase their fuel consumption.

“For example families have had to dry clothes indoors over the last number of weeks and additional heating has been needed as the evening has been cooler than expected.

“I am particularly concerned for older people and those with disabilities who are at immediate risk as inadequate home heating can be a contributory factor to declining health.

“I am calling on the new Minister for Social and Family Affairs Martin Cullen to introduce as a matter of urgency a one-off payment to cover the unforeseen additional fuel costs incurred by those most vulnerable; low income families, older people and those with disabilities.” CRÍOCH



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