Minister announces 300 million euros for winter fuel scheme

Almost 300 million euros have been allocated for the national fuel scheme this winter.

© Brian Lawless Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys (Brian Lawless/PA)

The means-assessed payment will be paid for 28 weeks to an estimated 370,000 households across the state.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys announced the budget of 292 million euros, with her department providing two options of payment.

Recipients are paid a weekly rate of 28 euros or, if they prefer, by way of two lump sum payments of 392 euros each.

The first weekly payments will be issued from this week in addition to recipients’ normal weekly social welfare payments.

Ms Humphreys said it would play a “vital role in assisting tens of thousands of households with their heating costs over the winter months”.

“It acts as a financial aid for people living in low-income households to help towards the cost of the likes of electricity and heating oil,” she said.

“In recognition of its importance to so many families, I increased the weekly rate of payment by 3.50 euros in my first Budget as Social Protection Minister.

“I am conscious that heating costs are a concern for many and that households have seen their bills increase and return to 2019 levels.

“This will be an important factor for me as minister as I continue the Budget 2022 negotiations, along with my Government colleagues.”

Ms Humphreys said householders who were paid the Fuel Allowance last year would automatically be paid again this year as long they remained entitled.

“It’s important to state also that there are two options for payment. As an alternative to a weekly payment of 28 euros, householders also have the option of being paid in two lump sums of 392 euros each,” she said.

“Finally, I urge anyone who is newly eligible for the payment to submit an application immediately.”

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