TD for Dublin Mid-West and Chair of the Employment Affairs and Social Protection Committee, John Curran has welcomed the extension of the Fuel Allowance Payment this year, announced in Budget 2019, by an extra week. “The scheme will now run for 28 weeks and began at the start of October. I and my Fianna Fáil colleagues have called on the Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty to extend the payments by an additional 3 weeks of payments to be made to those currently in receipt of the allowance. “While the Fine Gael led Government chose to extend the payment by just one week in Budget 2019; it is still a welcome step towards protecting vulnerable households from fuel poverty. Some 373,800 households.

“Extending the fuel allowance payment ensures that those at risk of fuel poverty aren’t left wanting. There should never be a situation where families and older people have to pick and choose between heating  their house and paying for food. “A bag of coal in most parts of the country costs at least €20 and there is a lot of uncertainty around the price of oil in the coming months on foot of the recent Saudi drone attacks – the fuel allowance is €22.50 per week. The weekly rate of the Fuel Allowance will be €22.50 while the value of the lump sum payment that will be paid to the householders who have opted for this payment is €315 (which will be paid next week also). Customers who have not previously received the payment can apply by contacting their local Intreo Centre or from the office which handles their scheme payment at 01 7043000. I have previously called on  Minister Doherty to seek additional finance from the Minister for Finance to extend the Fuel Allowance Payment by an additional three weeks considering  the cold weather experienced in previous years. Many households require home heating oil and coal up until the month of May and I and my Fianna Fáil colleagues will continue to press for 3 weeks additional payments,” concluded Curran.