Over 30 welfare payments for heating costs in Carlow last year at a cost of almost €8,000 

New figures have revealed

Carlow Carlow Carlow

Welfare payments to help people meet fuel costs and make essential repairs

There were 34 exceptional needs payments for heating costs in Carlow last year bringing the total bill to €7,911. 

Sinn Féin's John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the amount paid out by each community welfare office under the exceptional needs payment to cover fuel costs in 2017.

In a written response, Minister Regina Doherty said: "Under the supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme, my Department may make a single exceptional needs payment (ENP) to help meet essential, once-off expenditure which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.

"The Government has provided over €36 million for exceptional and urgent payments in 2018."

She added: "Statistics are maintained relating to payments under the ENP scheme, however they are not maintained on the amount paid by each Community Welfare Office. Over 103,400 ENPs issued during 2017 at a provisional cost of €38 million.

"In 2017 there were 2,140 payments made at a cost of over €586,000 under the ENP scheme for assistance towards heating related costs, which includes fuel and essential repairs to equipment."

These figures are taken from the Department’s ENP database and represent a snapshot of the ENPs as they are approved by an officer rather than when they are paid.

The figures do not capture payments that are cancelled, payments that go out of date or overpayments recouped.

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