Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Older People Mary Butler has called on the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection to extend the fuel allowance for another 4 weeks while older people are still cocooning.

Deputy Butler said, “While I appreciate we are coming into the summer months and there would not normally be a need for the fuel allowance at this time of year, we are in exceptional times. Older people are being asked to cocoon and are therefore unable to leave their homes, which is having a knock-on effect on their fuel usage.

“The current scheme is due to run out on the 8th of May but if older people are still being advised to stay at home, I believe it should be extended for another four weeks.

“The community response to the COVID-19 crisis has been incredible – I have had so many older people contacting my office to express their thanks to all the volunteers who have been delivering groceries, medicines and who have been checking in with them over the past couple of weeks.

“However, despite the support they have been receiving, many are worried about heating bills over the next few weeks. I believe that extending the fuel allowance for another four weeks is a relatively small price to pay to ensure that our older people are comfortable and safe in their own homes”.