Fuel allowance payment announcement welcomed, warmly
Seamus McAleavey, Chief Executive of NICVA, said:
“The issue of fuel poverty is never far from our minds during these winter months, with many voluntary and community groups working to support communities most in need. The rising number of individuals who have to choose between eating and heating is alarming, and this fuel allowance will go a long way in benefiting those who most need it.”
The allowance covers:
- A £100 payment will be made to those in receipt of Pension Credit;
- A £100 payment will be made to those receiving cancer treatment;
- A £75 payment will be paid to those in receipt of Income Support;
- A £75 payment will be made to those in receipt of Employment Support Allowance income related;
- A £75 payment will be made to those in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance income based
There is no application process – payments will be automatically issued to those who are eligible. Recipients will be determined by a 'qualifying week' in December and payments will be issued in February.
Payments are expected to total around £23million.
The First Minister said:
“The delivery of a fuel poverty initiative this year was identified by the Executive as one of our most pressing issues due to the impact of increased household energy costs, that affect us all, but particularly those who are most likely already experiencing significant levels of fuel poverty.
“Those who are struggling to keep their homes warm this winter will draw comfort from this decision, which will help alleviate the financial burden on some of our most vulnerable citizens – low income families, pensioners and those who are being treated for cancer.”
The deputy First Minister commented:
“This additional one-off payment towards household fuel costs will be universally welcomed by those who are suffering most in these challenging financial times. Fuel poverty is very real in our society and the introduction and supporting of a range of initiatives aimed at reducing fuel poverty, is a key element of the draft Programme for Government.
“Those on low income are often unable to afford even the most basic necessities and this can have a detrimental effect on entire families. Today’s announcement will undoubtedly make life that little bit easier for these people.”
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