The decision to extend the fuel allowance season by four weeks has been welcomed by local TDs. On Tuesday, the Department for Employment Affairs and Social Protection announced that an extension had been granted from Friday, April 10th, until Friday, May 8th.
Sligo/Leitrim Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan said: “At a time where we wish people to stay at home to stay safe, it makes perfect sense to extend the fuel season for existing eligible customers on a once-off basis, in order to ensure the most vulnerable groups are provided with additional targeted financial supports in a timely and efficient manner.
“This extension will ensure those in receipt of this payment have one less thing to worry about and can remain safe and warm in their homes for the coming period,” Deputy Feighan concluded.
Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice said: “The decision must be welcomed. Common sense has prevailed in a time which is proving difficult for elderly people.
“I brought this to the attention of the minister in the Dáil last week, having received numerous calls from worried constituents.
“This decision will ease their worries slightly and the additional funds will go some way towards alleviating the pressure they are under at the moment. With elderly people being advised to cocoon during the Covid-19 outbreak in order to avoid the possibility of contracting the virus, they are being faced with higher than normal heating bills”.
The Fuel Allowance payment is made to over 370,000 of the most disadvantaged households in the country including pensioners and those with disabilities, who are most at risk of fuel poverty.