Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Curious Case of the Fuel Allowance

Something strange is going on. Many days ago I had a brainwave. Yes, I do have them now and again. My legs were frozen at the time, as heating during the day is unaffordable. I thought about the poor old craters out there, maybe alone, and having to face the harshness of the winter freeze where temperatures dip down to double digits.
Call me crazy, but i built up the courage to address Dan Boyle on the issue and I suggested the following to him.

and I quote ... 'Here's something you can implement that may get a few votes your way and seeing as we are in the red for (well do we really know) it would be inexpensive, but prove you's have a semblance of a heart. Double the fuel allowance... for the run of the cold snap so poor ol' craters don't have to run the risk of freezing to death. That piece of policy is free to your party. Let's see what you can do with it. :)'

Given there was no response, I thought no more about it until Lenihan told the Dáil today he was issuing recipients of the fuel allowance in Ireland a once-off payment of €40.
So I took out my calculator. The cold snap will last until the end of the week. That makes it almost two weeks in duration. So...

Fuel Allowance - €20 per week
Weeks of natural austerity - 2

I couldn't believe my ears. Charity from the government to the venerable of our society. I immediately congratulated Danny for taking on-board what I had suggested.
No reply!

Then Boyler posts the Green Party statement about the budget. OK, I looked. Nothing there I didn't expect. Loaded with excuses for failure, their legacy, an all-time failure in their brief tenure in the corridors of power.
Near the end I read this -

and i quote...again, “The decision to increase the fuel allowance is directly linked to the Green Party’s role in Renewed Programme for Government negotiations little over a year ago,”

I have to say I was a little taken aback. Naturally, I asked for some evidence of documentation to prove how the Greens had suddenly become the healer of society with this act of random kindness. Lenihan had stated in his address that the payment was in solidarity with the people experiencing the harshness of the clime.

Political opportunism? Maybe. Maybe not. I do know I will be continuing to look for this foresight on the behalf of the Greens. If I find it, then fair enough. Not having much tracking down anything though. I wonder if I put the word out on Twitter tomorrow among some notables, would they be able to get to the bottom of who actually forwarded the proposal to the Minister for Finance.
Imagine if Fianna Fail hung the Greens out to dry over this. As revenge for their little stunt a few weeks ago. I'd like to know who's claiming the coup and I intend on finding out. Someones being opportunistic. I hope it's me.

Of course whoever is to blame has probably cost the taxpayer a sum in the millions. On the other hand some can have a little heat over the Christmas. I guess you can never win but at least it will be a little cosier for some this Yuletide.

Tomorrow - The Proof.

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