Only those who get their applications in early can be sure of getting the heating oil subsidy this winter, as a circular issued on Friday by the Finance Ministry said that only people who apply before the end of December are certain to get the entire allowance that has been set aside for them. If the funds remaining in January are insufficient to cover the demand by legitimate recipients who apply from next month, the benefit will be distributed “proportionately.”
Clearly the ministry has either made its calculations on the liters and cash amounts incorrectly or it has failed to assess the number of recipients who can apply. And all this is going on at a time when the ministry has halved the amount to be made available for heating oil consumers who fulfill the stricter property and income criteria set: From 210 million euros a year ago, the ministry will allocate 105 million this winter.
Based on Friday’s announcement, consumers will now have to scramble to submit their applications by the end of the year if they want to get their entire allocation of the subsidy, amounting to 25 cents per liter.
The ministry is expecting 700,000 applications this year, although some 2.3 million households meet the criteria for the payment of the subsidy. Last winter the ministry received 1.1 million applications.