Fianna Fáil 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, until April 12th.

“Usually the scheme is due to end this week, but I and my Fianna Fáil colleagues called on the Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty to extend the payments by additional weeks.

for 3 additional weeks of payments to be made to those currently in receipt of the allowance, some 373,800 households.

“While the Fine Gael led Government chose to extend the payment by just one week, 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 – the fuel allowance is €22.50 per week. The weekly Fuel Allowance of €22.50 is being extended by one week this year until 12 April.

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.