independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

Fuel poverty is everywhere, says lone mum

WORRIED single mother Nuala McGinnity has hit out at the cut in the fuel allowance -- saying she may not be able to keep up with other weekly payments as she ensures her home is heated.

The 31-year-old mother from Monaghan said Irish homes needed to be heated even in the summer. "It's so ironic. We woke up to snow here today," she said last night.

"Six weeks (less) is going to make a huge difference. Fuel poverty is everywhere. I can't even begin to tell you how many layers of clothes I have on me.

"Then I came home today in the freezing cold to hear that. Six weeks is a lot."

Ms McGinnity, who has a son aged 14, said she will have to look again at her budget.

"I have the same weekly budget every week so maybe it will now be the case that I won't be able to pay the credit union back the same amount because I now have to spend a bit more on coal."

While she is relieved to hear that the €10 across-the-board cut in child benefit did not materialise, she is annoyed by the cut in the one-parent family payments.

She will also be hit by the cut in the Back to School Allowance from €305 to €250 for children over 12.

Ms McGinnity, who is employed part-time as a community support worker, said there was no incentive for lone parents to work.

"It's hugely unfair and I think that we're (lone parents) being punished," she said.

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