Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ceisteanna (194)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

194. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated full year cost of disregarding the half-rate carer's allowance in the means test for entitlement to the fuel allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16772/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Fuel allowance is a payment of €22.50 per week to recipients of a qualifying social welfare payment to assist with the energy costs of low-income households. Carer's allowance is not a qualifying payment for fuel allowance.  However, it is possible for a person in receipt of half-rate carer’s allowance and a qualifying social welfare payment to qualify for the scheme.

Where a person is in receipt of a qualifying non-contributory social welfare payment and half-rate carer's allowance, then they are deemed to have satisfied the means test and fuel allowance is payable provided all other conditions have been met.  If a person is on a qualifying contributory payment and half-rate carer's allowance, then the value of half-rate carer's allowance is assessed in the fuel allowance means test.

Based on the recipient numbers of half-rate carer’s allowance, the cost of paying fuel allowance to all those in receipt of half-rate carer's allowance would be approximately €24 million over the 28 weeks of the fuel season. However, the estimated marginal cost of the policy raised by the Deputy would be impacted by the fact that some of these recipients may already be in receipt of a fuel allowance, and others would not qualify for the scheme for a variety of reasons, including their means and/or household composition.