Proposed heating benefit would give 400,000 households £50 towards bills

The Scottish Government is aiming to replace the UK-wide Cold Weather Payment.

Neil Pooran
Wednesday 01 December 2021 12:59
More people are expected to enter fuel poverty (Steve Parsons/PA)
More people are expected to enter fuel poverty (Steve Parsons/PA)

A proposed new benefit payment would give 400,000 households in Scotland £50 each every winter to help with heating bills.

The Scottish Government is aiming to replace the current UK-wide Cold Weather Payment in the winter of 2022.

It has opened a consultation on Low Income Winter Heating Assistance, which is expected to cost £20 million annually.

The current benefit pays £25 for each seven-day period where the temperature is forecast to be below freezing.

Under the new scheme, households receiving income-related benefits would automatically receive £50 every winter.

The new benefit would start next year (Joe Giddens/PA)

Social Security Minister Ben Macpherson said: “Although Cold Weather Payments have been a valuable support for some during periods of very cold weather, there have been some years when hardly any payments have been made at all by the UK Government.

“If winters, as predicted, are due to become generally wetter and warmer then this may also reduce the numbers of Cold Weather Payments in the future. We want people to have certainty about receiving a payment.

“Our proposed new benefit will be the equivalent to two payments of Cold Weather Payment and should ensure that most people will be better off.

“Significantly, it will also enable us to provide assistance to more households that are at risk of fuel poverty.”

Last week, experts told MSPs around 100,000 more households are expected to go into fuel poverty as a result of rising energy bills.

More than 600,000 households are currently estimated to be in fuel poverty.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in