Dáil Éireann - Volume 408 - 14 May, 1991

Written Answers. - Social Welfare Scheme Expenditure.

[815] 105. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Social Welfare the cost to the Exchequer of extending the concession for persons over 80 who can retain the free electricity allowance to cover all persons over 80 on social welfare pensions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): The free electricity allowance scheme provides an amount of free electricity to certain pensioners who are incapacitated or aged 66 or over. In 1990 I introduced an extension of the scheme whereby persons over 80 years of age who qualify for the allowance will not subsequently lose it if another person comes to live with them.

The cost of extending the free electricity allowance to all social welfare pensioners over 80 years of age is estimated at some £5 million in a full year.