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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 18 January 2022
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'Older people are sitting in libraries to stay warm': Sinn Féin criticises inaction on fuel allowance

Sinn Féin has claimed that many of the nation’s most vulnerable are being left out in the cold.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

NEGLECTING TO RESTORE fuel allowance which was cut during austerity budgets will have a devastating impact on families, it was warned yesterday.

Sinn Féín social protection spokesman John Brady accused the Government of failing to protect “the most vulnerable” by not addressing the issue.

The allowance was cut from 32 weeks to 26 weeks in Budget 2012 and has yet to be restored to its full complement.

Sinn Féin has also claimed that 28% of Irish families are living in some sort of fuel poverty.

Brady said: “Currently, 28% of households across this State are experiencing fuel poverty.

“We know that Ireland has the highest levels of excess winter mortality in Europe, with an estimated 2,800 excess deaths every winter.

“Yet, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have failed to address this in Budget 2017.

“The reality on the ground is that older people are sitting in public libraries, they are travelling on public transport and they are going to bed early just to stay warm. This is absolutely unacceptable.”

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