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Social Welfare Fuel Allowances...To Heat the Sky?

  • Susan Scott

    (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))

Over a quarter of households receive fuel allowances, amounting to some £56 million, annually. The state distributes these allowances because fuel is regarded as a ?merit? good. We must question whether the allowances as they stand are the most efficient way alleviating fuel difficulties among low-income families. It is probably fair to say that they do not succeed sufficiently in alleviating discomfort and the problems mentioned above. It is warmth that families require, rather than fuel per se. By taking a wider perspective, which includes the option of installing energy conservation measures in the home, it is asked whether it would be possible for the State to provide more warmth for the current expenditure. The answer in technical terms is yes, but no in practical terms. However on the way, we describe a sensible scheme and point out some other measures for helping low-income households to enjoy more warmth.

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Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP074.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Feb 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp074
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  1. FitzGerald, John & McCoy, Daniel, 1992. "The Economic Effects of Carbon Taxes," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS14.
  2. Scott, Susan & McCoy, Daniel, 1993. "Energy Conservation in the Home - Are We Contrary?," Book Chapters, in: FitzGerald, John (ed.), Issues in Irish Energy Policy Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  3. FitzGerald, John & McCoy, Daniel, 1993. "Issues in Irish Energy Policy," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS20.
  4. Baker, Terence J. & FitzGerald, John & Honohan, Patrick, 1996. "Economic Implications for Ireland of EMU," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS28.
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