Government inaction on fuel allowance ‘could have devastating impact’ – Brady
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has warned that Government inaction on fuel poverty in Budget 2017 will be felt by the most vulnerable this winter.
Teachta Brady said:
“Fine Gael and Labour cut the Fuel Allowance by 6 weeks from 32 weeks to 26 weeks in Budget 2012. This had a devastating impact on older people particularly, those living alone as well as for lone parents and those in low income households.
“Currently, 28% of households across this State are experiencing fuel poverty. We know that Ireland has the highest levels of excess winter mortality in Europe, with an estimated 2,800 excess deaths every winter. Yet, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have failed to address this in Budget 2017.
“The reality on the ground is that older people are sitting in public libraries, they are travelling on public transport and they are going to bed early just to stay warm. This is absolutely unacceptable.
“Due to the inaction of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael this week, this situation will continue.
“I raised this issue directly with Minister Varadkar at a recent Committee meeting and I asked him to increase the fuel allowance, this call went ignored.
“Sinn Féin's alternative budget included a 3 week increase in the Fuel Allowance payment as the first step to restoring it in full.”