#Beast from the East - doubling of Fuel Allowance 'the only humane option'

Anne O'Grady

Reporter:

Anne O'Grady

#Beast from the East - doubling of Fuel Allowance 'the only humane option'

330,000 people will be given €45 instead of the standard payment of €22.50

Age Action and Tipperary T.D., Mattie McGrath, have welcomed the announcement by Minister Regina Doherty TD that there will be a double payment in the Fuel Allowance this week to help pensioners on low incomes heat their homes. 

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications with Age Action, said: “The decision by Minister Regina Doherty TD to issue a double Fuel Allowance payment will be warmly welcomed by tens of thousands of pensioners on low incomes. 

“The most important thing for older people in this weather is to stay as warm as possible. But even at the best of times many are worried about the cost of heating their homes. 

“The double payment in the Fuel Allowance will reassure them that they can afford to keep the heat on in a week when they really need it.” 

The Fuel Allowance is a means-tested, weekly, payment of €22.50 made to 338,000 households to help them heat their homes during the coldest months.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has also welcomed the decision saying, “I am satisfied that the government has seen fit to row back on its miserly approach to the doubling of the Fuel Allowance. Yesterday the Taoiseach said it would cost too much, but today, and only after sustained political pressure, have they decided to dig deep and find the resources necessary.

"I hope it goes some way toward offering a modicum of peace of mind for the elderly and the vulnerable in particular.

"What I want to see now is firm assurances regarding the granting of exceptional needs payments for all those who incur significant heating or fuel bills during this weather event. The last thing pensioners or the sick need is the added stress of financial worries while trying to keep themselves warm. Hopefully next time the government won’t be as slow out of the traps when it comes to offering guarantees of this kind,” concluded Deputy McGrath.