The person concerned was awarded a widower's or surviving civil partner's contributory pension at the maximum rate for a person aged under 66, of €191.30 per week with effect from 6 April 2007. The rate of pension increased in line with annual budgetary increases in 2008 and again in 2009.
Subsequent Government budget decisions introduced a range of welfare expenditure reduction measures, which included reductions in the weekly personal rates of payment for welfare recipients aged under 66 to help. Accordingly, the rate of pension for the person concerned decreased from €209.80 in 2009 to €201.50 in 2010 and to €193.50 in 2011. On reaching age 66 in February 2012, the person's weekly rate of pension increased to €230.30, the maximum rate payable to a person aged over 66.
The person concerned is currently in receipt of maximum weekly rate of pension of €248.30, together with an increase for living alone and telephone support allowance, bringing their total weekly rate up to €259.80. The person concerned also qualifies for the seasonal fuel allowance payment, payable in two lump sum instalments which is their preferred option.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.