Government urged to double fuel allowance during period of cold weather

Justin Moran of Age Action has called for the €22.50 fuel allowance to be doubled as some exceptionally cold weather approaches.

There is a concern for the elderly with warnings of colder temperatures set to arrive in the coming days.

'We have a situation where a lot of older people will be living in houses that are poorly insulated... we will be looking for a single one-off double fuel allowance payment this week," Moran said on the Today with Sean O'Rourke show on RTÉ Radio.

Mr Moran also spoke of wanting the elderly to be able to turn on their heating without the fear of their electricity bill or gas bill that they will be facing.

Jim Daly, Minister of State for The Elderly told Sean O'Rourke that people will be able to apply to the exceptional needs scheme, run by the Department of Social Protection, for extra funding for fuel.

He pleaded with older people to use the scheme and buy that "extra bag of coal or bale of briquettes" to help stay warm.

Fianna Fáil's spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O'Dea, said he supported the sentiment behind Jim Daly's call for the elderly to put their heat on 24/7, but said there had to be a definitive financial provision to reassure people that their costs would be met.

"Naturally, I support the sentiments behind the statement, but what concerns me greatly is that there seems to be that no financial provision has been made for this," he said.

He said he could not tell his constituents to run up heating bills without the reassurance that they will be fully reimbursed. He said the solution would be for the Minister for Social Protection to double the fuel allowance for this week.

- Digital desk



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