Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1495)

Thomas P. Broughan


1495. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated full year cost if the fuel allowance payment period was increased from 27 to 30 weeks; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19776/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The fuel allowance is a payment of €22.50 per week for 28 weeks (a total of €630 per fuel season) from October to April, to over 372,000 low income households, at an estimated cost of €240 million in 2019.  The purpose of this payment is to assist these households with their energy costs.  Budget 2019 extended the duration of the fuel season from 27 weeks to 28 weeks.

The full year cost of extending the fuel season from 28 to 30 weeks would be €16.8 million.  The cost of extending the fuel season by three weeks would be €25.2 million.

It should be noted that these costings are subject to change in the context of emerging trends and associated revision of the estimated numbers of recipients for 2020.  Any decision to extend the fuel season would need to be considered in an overall budgetary context.