Minister says lump sum payments will help prevent fuel poverty

A decision to allow local people to receive fuel allowances in two lump sums over the winter months will help keep them warm, comfortable and in good health in their own homes, according to Dublin South West TD and Independent Minister Katherine Zappone.

The Minister says the decision has been taken in response to calls by campaigners such as Age Action and will help ensure that older people in Tallaght and surrounding communities can access money to pay for fuel deliveries.

Those who opt for lump sum payments will receive €292.50 in October and a second payment in January.

Minister Zappone added:

“Stocking up on coal or heating oil can be a hugely expensive time for any household – requiring a lot of saving.
“By allowing the option of two lump payments over the winter months the saving burden is not only being reduced but it is allowing the bulk buying of coal which sometimes represent a saving of €3 a bag. This will allow the allowances to be stretched further.

“We need to get the message out throughout the South Dublin County Council area that this is available as application forms must be returned by 15th September to avail of lump sum payments.

“I am asking that Citizen Information Offices, Welfare Offices and full time constituency offices, such as my own in Dublin South West, are used to get the message out.”

Minister Zappone said it’s also important to note the new payment is an option and those who receive the allowance can also continue to receive payments of €22.50 per week which amounts to €585 per fuel allowance season.
“The Fuel Allowance is a means assessed payment to assist householders receiving long-term social welfare payments unable to provide for their own heating needs.
“In the coming winter €229m will be invested in the scheme with an estimated 376,000 homes benefitting. For many it is a lifeline, in particular during bad weather in outlying areas of Dublin South West.

”Information on the new payment option must also be included in the traditional Be Winter Aware campaign in the coming weeks.”