Fuel Allowance should be paid to those on PUP payments during Winter Lockdown
- Hundreds of thousands of workers will be confined to home over coming weeks.
- January is one of the coldest months of the year with low temperatures forecast this week.
- €28 weekly fuel allowance should be provided to households where only income is the PUP.
With a cold weather snap starting, and hundreds of thousands of workers now confined at home, Labour Senator Mark Wall has called on the Government to extend eligibility for the fuel allowance for the duration of this lockdown to workers on the pandemic unemployment payment where this is the only income in the household.
Senator Wall said:
“The pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) is not at present a qualifying payment for fuel allowance, however if the household meets the other qualifying conditions such as the means test they can receive this vital support. However that leaves out most of those who are out of work and now claiming the PUP.
“With Ireland in a Level 5 lockdown and an announcement due soon on the closure of further sectors like construction hundreds of thousands of workers will be confined to their homes for the month of January and placed on the PUP.
“This is one of the coldest periods of the year, and Met Éireann has warned of low temperatures of up to -6 degrees over coming days.
“I am calling on the government to provide as a temporary support for the duration of this winter lockdown a weekly fuel allowance to households reliant on the PUP. This would be worth an extra €28 per week to a household and would help with the extra cost of heating homes in the weeks ahead.
“Fuel allowance is a means tested payment, and is usually paid over 28 weeks, with one payment per household. What I am proposing is a time limited once off payment to cover heating costs for those with no other choice but to stay at home in the coming weeks during the coldest time of the year and where PUP is the only source of income.”