12th October 2021 | Press Releases

Increase in fuel allowance from midnight tonight will ‘help those who need it most’

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The fuel allowance is set to increase by €5 from midnight tonight (October 12) as part of the plan to tackle fuel poverty in Budget 2022. This increase accompanies a €5 increase for pensioners, jobseekers and other welfare recipients from January 2022, as well as €3 extra for the living alone allowance.

Green Party Spokesperson for Social Protection, Marc Ó Cathasaigh TD welcomed the measures as part of the Green Party’s long-term plans to tackle poverty;

“It has been a priority for the Greens in government to tackle poverty in a meaningful way by making targeted improvements in specific social welfare provision. If we’re serious about the aims of the Roadmap for Social Inclusion, and the target to reduce consistent poverty to 2% or less, we need to direct help to those who need it most – lone parents and children in particular.

“The increases in general welfare rates are welcome and much needed, but in the longer term we do need to move to indexation to provide certainty to people reliant on welfare and establish in a meaningful way a minimum floor, below which we don’t allow our citizens to fall.

“In the context of escalating energy prices across the globe, it is the right that we have acted in this budget to protect people who can least afford to bear that extra cost. In the medium term, our ambitious retrofit programme will lift many people out of energy poverty, but right now it is important that we make positive changes to the fuel allowance in this budget.”

Green Party Spokesperson for Transport, Climate Action and Environment, Brian Leddin TD added;

“For the second year running we are using the increase in carbon tax in the budget to benefit less well-off households. Increased revenues from carbon tax will help to make sure that the bottom 30% of households by income will be better off as a result of the budget compared with households on higher incomes. The increase in the fuel allowance will help people on lower incomes and the expansion of eligibility means more people will benefit.

“Families across Europe are seeing an increase in their heating and electricity bills because of price rises on the European market. We are better placed than other countries to help the less well off because we have revenues from the carbon tax increase to distribute.

“In addition, we are continuing to prioritise social housing in our retrofitting programme, where we will insulate 500,000 homes by the end of the decade. It is right that we prioritise people on lower incomes, and we will continue to use carbon tax as an income redistribution tool in future budgets.”