New winter heating benefit set to be introduced in 2022
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THE Scottish Government will introduce a new winter heating benefit for low income households next year.
Around 400,000 households will be given a guaranteed £50 payment every winter from 2022 onwards after the government committed to an annual investment of £20 million.
The benefit will replace the current UK Government Cold Weather Payment scheme which triggers a £25 payment when temperatures are recorded or forecast at below zero degrees Celsius for seven days in a row.
Social Security Minister Ben Macpherson said: "Low Income Winter Heating Assistance will be an investment of around £20 million every year to reliably support people towards the costs of heating their homes irrespective of the weather, temperature, or where they live in Scotland.
"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.
“This is another important milestone in our ambitious programme, using the devolved social security powers we have to deliver more effective benefits for the people of Scotland, and is also part of our broader approach to support people who need extra help with heating costs during the coldest months of the year."