Social Democrats Political Director Anne-Marie McNally has welcomed today’s decision by the Minister for Social Protection to double the payment of fuel allowance to 331,000 people this week.

Ms McNally said:

“With the onset of snow overnight and further exceptionally cold weather forecast over the coming days, the doubling of the fuel allowance will give some comfort to elderly people and low-income families who may have been fretting about how to keep their homes heated.

“I welcome the fact that the Minister has this morning responded to calls by Age Action and others, which I fully supported, to boost the payments for this week. It is the simplest and most certain way of ensuring that people do not needlessly put themselves at risk by rationing their heating in order to save on costs.

“While the announcement this morning will bring peace of mind to many people, it is unfortunate that we had to get to the stage of widespread status red snow and ice warnings for the Minister to do the right and compassionate thing. Had the Minister made this announcement earlier, many elderly and low income families would have been spared undue stress and anxiety.”

ENDS

28 February 2018