FIANNA Fáil spokesman on Social Protection Willie O’Dea has welcomed confirmation that people in receipt of the fuel allowance will now be given the option to receive it in two lump sum payments. “I raised this possibility with the Minister and I welcome the move by the Department to allow the option for the allowance to be paid in two lump sums, as opposed to a weekly payment. It will help those who wish to buy fuel in bulk to secure discount offers. 7.5 per cent of pensioner households suffer fuel poverty and between 1,500 and 2,000 people die annually in Ireland from cold related illnesses because they can’t afford to sufficiently heat their homes”, he said.
The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has described United Airline’s decision to suspend its service between Shannon Airport and New York/Newark for the winter season as a major blow to tourism in the West of Ireland. IHF Shannon branch chairman Brian Harrington said that the US is a key overseas tourism market for the West of Ireland and it is extremely regrettable that such connectivity will be lost. “It is a significant setback that will have an obvious impact on both tourist and business numbers in the region as direct air access from the US to Shannon is a significant gateway for US visitors to access the Wild Atlantic Way,” he added.
Need to diversify
A review of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation’s capital expenditure on research, development and innovation (RDI) has identified the need to help companies diversify their product and market mix in the lead-in to Brexit. The review found that innovative firms with greater varieties of products have higher survival rates and a greater ability to withstand shocks. Innovation also aids in developing product or service mix and increases organisational capabilities to internationalise. Of the Enterprise Ireland clients, non-RDI active firms had the greatest job losses in the recession, while innovation active firms showed higher resilience and growth in employment, exports and value added.
Read more news stories in the Limerick Post News section.