Dáil Éireann - Volume 382 - 30 June, 1988
Written Answers. - Free Fuel Scheme.
Mr. Clohessy Mr. Clohessy
12. Mr. Clohessy asked the Minister for Social Welfare who will be administering the free fuel scheme in 1988-1989; when the changes will be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods) Michael J. Woods
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): In 1987 the Government decided to rationalise the fuel scheme — urban and national — and to extend entitlement to fuel allowances to include 30,000 long term unemployment assistance recipients with effect from October 1987. This process has been ongoing over the last year.
A single national fuel scheme, with uniform criteria for entitlement, will operate throughout the country from October next. From October 1988 the Department of Social Welfare will process and pay fuel allowances for all social welfare recipients. The health boards will  continue to deal with the fuel entitlements of their own regular clients, that is supplementary welfare allowance, disabled person's maintenance allowance and infectious diseases maintenance allowance. The local authorities will no longer have any involvement.
An estimated 52,000 unemployment assistance recipients will receive their fuel allowance at employment exchanges; 160,000 pensioners will receive their fuel allowances by pension order book and some 5,000 or so recipients of supplementary welfare allowance, disabled person's maintenance allowance and infectious diseases maintenance allowance will receive their fuel allowance from the health boards. Pensioners who previously received fuel allowances will not have to apply for the allowance since the Department will automatically issue a book for them in October 1988. New pensioners will have their claims for fuel allowances processed alongside their pension claim while the health board clients mentioned above will be dealt with locally by the CWOs. The appropriate administrative and other arrangements for these changes are well advanced and will be fully publicised nearer the start of the next heating season.
Dáil Éireann 382 Written Answers. Free Fuel Scheme.