Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
1017. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated amount it would cost in a full year to provide two extra weeks of fuel allowance to persons in receipt of the allowance for those over 80 years of age; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11432/20]
The Fuel Allowance is a means-tested payment to assist households in receipt of long-term social welfare payments, including pensioners and the long-term unemployed, who cannot provide for their own heating needs.
Customers are either paid €24.50 per week or in two lump sums of €343. The payment is made by means of an allowance paid alongside the customer’s primary payment.
Fuel Allowance is normally paid from October to April. As part of our response to the Covid pandemic, I secured agreement from Government to extend the 2019 / 2020 Fuel Season for all existing eligible customers on a once-off basis by 4 weeks to 8th May 2020, at an estimated cost of €34 million.
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 two weeks for those who are in receipt of the allowance and also in receipt of the Over 80s Allowance is estimated to be €2.7 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. Any decision to extend the fuel season would need to be considered in an overall budgetary context.