Danny Healy-Rae is supporting the call for the increase in the fuel allowance and to allow others on social welfare to access the fuel allowance.
The independent TD expressed his view during a motion on household utility bills support in Dáil Éireann yesterday (Wednesday, February 4th).
He stressed that 15 months is too long for someone to wait if he or she cannot afford heating.
Increase in cost of fuel, coal and briquettes
“My real problem is with the Government and its policies, increasing the cost of fuel, coal and briquettes and putting them out of the reach of ordinary people that are on social welfare or the old age pension.”
He said that these people have to “count every penny as they go”.
“They [briquettes] were a wonderful form of heating. Women and young and old people picked up a couple of bales of briquettes that were easy to handle and clean, and there was good heat from them.”
“Now, we are being told by this Government that we will not have them any more after a couple of more years. It is saying it will be four years before they are finished, but I think it will be a lot sooner than that.”
The Government is driving people to use electricity, according to Healy-Rae, who make reference to use the use of electric cars and electricity price hikes.
He said the Government is promoting electric cars, yet “we are told it will cost €26,000 to put a kerbside charging point in a housing estate“.
“Then, ye [the Government] are telling people ye cannot cut turf. People went out into the countryside, where I come from, and they were proud to cut turf in the summertime and to dry it and bring it home.”
“They were proud to cut timber and put it into a shed to dry before they used it. They were proud to sit in front of their fires, which kept them warm, going back decades and centuries.”
“The Taoiseach is following the Greens out the gap like a dog following a flock of sheep. He is doing everything it tells him.”
“Last night we heard the Minister for Transport, Deputy Eamon Ryan, boasting that we are going to lead the way. We are a small country I must remind him. If we were to turn out the lights and all of us leave this wonderful country we are living in; it would only make 0.13 of 1% in the overall context of reducing carbon emissions.”
Concluding, Danny Healy-Rae said: “We are all under the one sky Taoiseach and minister. Is this what you [the Government] are doing to rural Ireland? Because if it is, you will never again be heard of.”