McAuliffe calls for increase in Household Benefits Package
27 June 2023
Fianna Fáil spokesperson on social
PaulMcAuliffehas called on his colleagues in Government to increase the Household Benefits Package (HBP) in this year's budget.
The HBP is paid to 504,000 people and includes a free television licence along with €35 a month towards a recipient’s gas or electricity bill.
It is paid to everyone in the country aged over 70 but it can only be claimed by one person per household. The payment is also available to anyone aged between 66 and 70 who is in receipt of the state pension or the widow/widowers/surviving partner pension. Anyone aged under 66 who is in receipt of the carer’s allowance, or a disability allowance can also claim the payment.
The TD for Dublin North West said, "Over the last number of months, we have seen the positive impact of the Government’s Budget 2023 and Spring Cost-of-Living measures through increases to the fuel allowance payment, the living alone allowance, the State pension payments and electricity credits. Such support needs to be further bolstered this year in Budget 2024 through an increase in the monthly payment of the HBP and a similar lump sum payment at the beginning of the winter.
"The HBF has not been increased in 10 years despite the continued rising cost of energy and I am of the view that the Government needs to do more to shoulder the costs of these hikes. An increase in the HBF would go a long way in more fairly addressing the rising costs of energy that we are continuing to experience and could
provide a more universal assistance rather than making further changes to the fuel allowance payment again this year.
"We need to see a once-off lump sum payment under the HBP, similar to the fuel allowance payment last year, along with increased monthly payments under the scheme to support those who now make up 26 per cent of the total population – a figure that is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.''