Working in the Community, Working for the Community

Minister Burton Refuses Healy Request To Restore Fuel Allowances Despite Cold Weather while Minister Rabitte(Labour) Sheds Crocodile Tears for those being Cut Off!

1200 unnecessary deaths on the island of Ireland due to fuel poverty each year

Minister Alan Kelly must intervene now to save lives!

In a reply to a parliamentary question, which I had tabled last week, Minister Burton (Labour Party Deputy leader) refused to restore the cuts in fuel allowances to the old and the poor which she had implemented since coming to office despite the cold weather.  To-day, at the energy conference, her fellow Labour Minister cried crocodile tears for those whose heating is being cut off.

At the same conference, academics pointed out once again that there are 1200 unnecessary deaths on the island of Ireland due to fuel poverty each year. The cuts in heating units and in the heating period are cruel and unnecessary.

In my question I had pointed out that the Minister for Finance had told me recently in a reply that the top 1% of income recipients had a gross income of 8.74 billion Euro per year and an average income of €404,000 each and an after-tax income of €249,000 each per year. A tiny tax increase on these would pay for the restoration of cuts in fuel allowances. They would not even notice the change!

In addition the Government claims to be saving 1 billion per year due to the promissory note deal. But like Margaret Thatcher, Minister Burton was not for turning.

This is the centenary year of the formation in Clonmel of a political wing of the trade union movement on the proposal of James Connolly and Jim Larkin. What would they have thought of the actions of the current Deputy Leader?

I call on Minister Alan Kelly, MEP Phil Prendergast, Senator Landy and all Labour Party representatives to force Minister Burton to change her mind immediately and to come to the assistance of those who are shivering in their homes.

Statement By Seamus Healy TD   087-2802199

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