Social Democrats Political Director Anne-Marie McNally has supported the call by Age Action for a double payment of the Social Welfare Fuel Payment this week. The forecast for exceptionally cold weather over the coming days has caused serious concerns that elderly people and low-income families will be forced to try and be frugal with their heating, despite the risks, simply because of cost.

Ms McNally said:

“Indications from Government circles seem to be suggesting that people should go ahead and pay for the heating and then use the ‘exceptional needs’ process through the Community Welfare Officer to try and get the money back after the fact. There are understandable concerns not least about whether such repayments would be actually made but if they were paid how long such repayments would take. In addition, such a process not take account of the fact that many people simply won’t have the funds up front to purchase fuel where needed.”

“Doubling the Fuel Payment Scheme payment for this week is the simplest and most certain way of ensuring that elderly and low-income families do not put themselves at risk over the coming days by trying to somehow ration out their heating in order to save on cost.”

27th February 2018

ENDS