Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Questions (296)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

296. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated full-year cost of providing an additional one, two and three weeks of fuel allowance to who that are also in receipt of the over 80s allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52022/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The Fuel Allowance is a payment made for 28 weeks, from October to April, to help with heating costs during the winter months. I was pleased to announce, as part of Budget 2020, that the Fuel Allowance will be increased by €2 per week from January 2020. This increase will raise the payment to €24.50 per week, benefiting over 373,000 low-income households.

The Over 80 Allowance is an additional payment of €10 per week paid to people who are in receipt of a social welfare payment, including State pensions, and who are over 80 years of age.

The full year cost of increasing the duration of the Fuel Allowance season by 1, 2, and 3 weeks for those who are also in receipt of the Over 80s Allowance, is estimated to be €1.3m, €2.6m and €3.9m respectively.

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. Any decision to extend the fuel season would need to be considered in an overall budgetary context.