Fianna Fail Senator pressing for increased National Fuel Scheme funding

‘Wet and cold weather has meant households forced to use more fuel than normal to heat their homes’

Sligo News File Online

Senator Marc MacSharry, Fianna Fail
Senator Marc MacSharry,
Fianna Fail

A Fianna Fail Senator has called on the Government to increase funding for the fuel allowance scheme because of, he said, the extra cost incurred by households in heating their homes during the recent cold spell.

Marc MacSharry said the wet and cold weather has meant that households have been forced to use more fuel than normal in order to adequately heat their homes. Owing to the pressure this has put on many household budgets, particularly on those of older people, he is now demanding the Government makes sure that additional funding is allocated to the fuel allowance scheme.

He said:

“This summer has been very difficult on families, and in particular older people, due to the poor weather that we have had to date. Met Éireann have highlighted that July was poor month weather-wise, with some parts of the Country recording the coldest month since 1965 and its third coldest July since records began in 1950.

“The wet and cold weather has meant that households have been forced to use more fuel than normal in order to adequately heat their homes. This has put pressure on many household budgets, particularly for older people. In light of this I am calling on the Government to ensure that additional funding is allocated to the fuel allowance scheme.

“People who normally qualify for this payment on a seasonal basis have found themselves having to provide fuel to heat their homes in what has been a desperate summer. The fuel allowance payment should be made without delay to all recipients to take account of this fact.

“Many people in financial difficulty have had to spend money they had not budgeted for on fuel to keep their homes warm this summer. As a result of this they have to forgo other essential payments. The reality is that these people need to be looked after by the Government and an exception should be made to bring forward fuel allowance scheme payments without delay.

“The Government is talking about providing tax breaks to the wealthy in advance of the next budget. In light of this the least they can do is make sure that vulnerable people especially the elderly can continue to adequately heat their homes.”