recipients will get a weekly top-up of 22.50 euro in
their payment from Monday as the Winter Fuel
The seasonal top-up includes a 2.50 euro increase in
the payment announced in last year's budget.
Some 410,000 welfare recipients across Ireland
including pensioners and long-term unemployed will
receive the fuel allowance along with their usual
weekly payment from October 3, 2016 to April 3,
The allowance, made under the National Fuel Scheme,
was reduced by six weeks to 26 weeks four years ago,
as austerity dominated budgets during the downturn.
Advocates for the elderly have urged the Government
to tackle these cuts in Budget 2017 to be delivered
on October 11.
Age Action has urged Social Protection Minister Leo
Varadkar to "begin to reverse the six weeks cut from
the Fuel Allowance by extending the scheme by four
weeks" at a cost of €35 million.
The elderly charity's pre-budget submission also
pushes for a clause allowing households reliant on
home heating oil to receive the payment in two lump
Only one fuel allowance is paid per qualifying
household and it is subject to a number of
conditions including means test.
Anyone who feels they may be entitled to the extra
cash this winter should apply immediately as it is
Meanwhile, oil consumers have enjoyed hundreds of
euro in savings in their home heating bills in
Irish households were paying an average of about 850
euro per 1,000 litres of home heating oil in 2013.
This compares to a current national average of about
535 euro per 1,000 litres. The much-needed relief
also comes amid a number of price cuts in recent
months by electricity and gas suppliers.