Winter heating benefits: low income winter heating assistance

Closes 23 Feb 2022

Opened 1 Dec 2021

Overview

The Scottish Government has now committed to replacing the UK Government’s Cold Weather Payment (CWP) of £25 for every 7 day period of very cold weather, with a new £50 winter heating payment paid annually to those low-income households currently eligible for the CWP. This will be an investment of £20 million every year and support 400,000 households, giving eligible low-income households guaranteed support with energy bills.

We are therefore consulting on the policy intention behind the delivery of this new Low Income Winter Heating Assistance (LIWHA). This will build on the broader consultation on the Social Security Bill in 2016 which asked respondents for their views on Winter Fuel Payment (WFP) and CWP. This consultation aims to provide an overview of the new payments aim, its key eligibility criteria and format. It will lay out how we intend to deliver this new benefit through Social Security Scotland to provide assistance to individuals to help towards meeting heating costs in winter. We also want to identify any unintended consequences of our proposals.

This consultation asks questions on whether the policy intent set out in the Scottish approach to replacing CWPs will best meet the needs of those it is intended to help. We would like to gather views to ensure we have identified the best possible approach to delivering this assistance before we draft the benefit regulations.

Why your views matter

Read the consultation paper. 

The Scottish Government believes that understanding and learning from the experiences of individuals and organisations that come into contact with the current benefits system is vital to help us develop LIWHA with dignity, respect and fairness.

The responses to the consultation will be analysed and, taking these into account, policy decisions will be made. The final policy will be set out in draft regulations which will have to be approved by the Parliament before delivery can take place. The draft regulations will  be scrutinised by the Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) before they are laid in the Scottish Parliament.

We will also start to design the business processes which will allow citizens to access and receive LIWHA. This work will include developing the communications that clients receive about their payments. We want to test and evolve designs with stakeholders and members of the public who have experience of the current DWP system to ensure it is as user-friendly as possible.

Give us your views

Interests

  • Energy
  • Equality, Welfare and Rights