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Fuel allowanced expansion still needed even in Summer months – Sherlock

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Cork East TD Seán Sherlock has again pressed the Government to expand the eligibility of the fuel allowance, saying the time to do the work on it is now before the weather turns.

“We keep raising the issue of the fuel allowance and access to it,” said Deputy Sherlock.

“I know it is not the most important topic during these summer months. However, it will not be long until we are into the autumn and winter months again and the issue will be high on the political agenda. I have called previously in the Dáil for some sort of scheme to be put in place for certain people. While it is acknowledged that there has been an increase in the fuel allowance for those in receipt of it, there is a whole category of people who have worked all their lives, put children through college and are living in C-, D- and E-rated houses. They do not have access to grants and do not have the means to upgrade their houses, but they could very well do with an additional supplementary payment for fuel. If the Government were to create a second category to encapsulate those people who have a modest occupational pension or a contributory pension and who do not meet the criteria for access to the fuel allowance, it would be a good day’s work.”

“Very many of the people to whom I refer, because they are of a certain age, would have voted Fianna Fáil historically. It would be a fair assessment to extrapolate that they have probably turned away from Fianna Fáil but maybe Fianna Fáil could go back and look at that category of people, if at all possible. I urge the Green Party and Fine Gael to do the same because this is all coming into sharp relief at a time when there is a fuel crisis. That is a very obvious thing to say but if it is possible to create a second category for the fuel allowance that would encapsulate far more people, that would give them just a little bit of headroom and see them through the next winter. We have to look after those people. They made the biggest sacrifices in this country in the 1970s and 1980s when they paid big money in taxation and still they were able to educate children and put them through college. I am probably a product of that system, dare I say it.”

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