Doherty Welcomes Double Fuel Allowance Payment
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has welcomed today’s (Wednesday) announcement that fuel allowance recipients are set to receive a double payment this week as severe weather conditions continue to grip the country.
The Government U-turn comes after the cabinet came under mounting pressure this week in the Dáil with Deputy Doherty as well as other Sinn Féin TDs calling for the extra payment to be sanctioned in order to protect some of the most vulnerable during the ongoing cold spell.
Speaking this morning, Teachta Doherty said:
“I welcome Minister Doherty’s announcement this morning that the Government has decided to do a U-turn on this issue and that an additional fuel payment will now be made, just as I and others in Sinn Féin had called earlier this week.
“It is absolutely crucial that nobody is left cold in their homes out of worry for increased fuel bills during the cold weather which continues to grip much of the country.
“While this announcement is a positive one, I would call on those with vulnerable family members and neighbours to make sure that they can collect the fuel allowance payment.
"Older people in particular may not be in a position to do so or to get to the shop to top up their meters, so I would encourage their family members and neighbours to be mindful of this.
“I would also call on Minister Doherty to consider putting protocols in place for future weather events where temperatures drop dramatically and where providing additional fuel payments to people at such times is needed.
"The uncertainty, panic and worry experienced by the most vulnerable in society yesterday should not have occurred, yet Government allowed this situation to fester despite my party colleagues and I urging them to act when the issue was debated in the Dáil this week.
“In Britain, there is a Cold Weather Payment available between November and the end of March if temperatures fall to zero or below for seven consecutive days and I firmly believe that we should examine a similar proposal here.”