Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.57 11 Jan 2021


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One woman says the Government needs to increase the Fuel Allowance as people are told to stay at home.

Bernadette Philips says she understands the stay-at-home policy and the reason behind it, but that this should see an increase in the allowance.

The current fuel allowance is €28 per week and is paid to help people with the cost of heating their homes during the winter months.

The means-tested allowance is paid to people who are dependent on long-term social welfare payments for around 28 weeks.

Bernadette told Lunchtime Live: "Naturally when people are at home all day, their heating bills are going to be higher, and indeed their food bills are going to be higher as well".

Bernadette says she understands why people need to stay in their homes, but that not everyone can afford to heat it.

"There's thousands and thousands of people out there and around the country who are listening to this who are not able to heat their homes and they're cold".

"But this isn't something that the Government has considered at all, or we've heard as part of the conversation at all.

"And the need for that to change is urgent".

"Even if it was doubled, it would be something that would help people.

"This isn't rocket science … that if we're at home all day, we're sitting, it's very very cold weather - we know that weather has been dreadful in the last number of days - and people are there all day".

She also claims that people have contacted her who are "having to make a choice between heating or eating".

"If we don't eat properly, if we can't heat ourselves properly, what happens? We become ill - and these are non-COVID illnesses that we need to be discussing as well".

Asked how the State could pay for any such increase, she said money must be found to help those most at-risk.

"Billions have been found over the last number of months for many things... and I think a very, very basic thing about how we actually care for the poorest and for the most vulnerable in our country.

"That needs to be a priority, I don't see that being a priority right now".

Call for Fuel Allowance increase as people 'having to choose between heating or eating'

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Main image by Glenda Vidal from Pixabay 

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