Consultation on new benefit to help people with fuel costs.
Views are being sought on the introduction of the Pension Age Winter Heating Payment, a new benefit to replace the UK Government’s Winter Fuel Payment in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has previously committed to delivering the new payment on a like-for-like basis with the existing benefit. It will help more than a million pensioners with heating costs in the winter.
The consultation document sets out proposals for implementing the new payment when it is introduced from the winter of 2024 and asks for responses, which can be submitted until 15 January. The public’s views on issues such as who should be eligible, the timing and format of the payment and the likely impact of the benefit, are being sought – as well as further evidence about issues specific to people who are off the gas grid.
Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“Pension Age Winter Heating Payment will seek to safely and securely transfer responsibility for the delivery of Winter Fuel Payment to the Scottish Government, ensuring that more than a million pensioners currently eligible for Winter Fuel Payment continue to receive this support.
“This will be an investment of around £180 million in 2024-25 to help older people with the costs of heating their homes throughout the winter.
“Working with individuals and organisations with experience of the benefits system is central to our approach to developing the devolved social security system in Scotland.
“We are now looking for the public’s views, as well as those of relevant experts and organisations – through this consultation – to finalise our policy on this important benefit.”
Pension Age Winter Heating Payment will provide an annual payment to pensioner households to help with heating costs in the winter. The Government’s intention is that when it is introduced, the Payment will have the same eligibility criteria and payment amounts as Winter Fuel Payment.
The consultation lays out the Scottish Government’s intention to deliver a like-for-like benefit at a cost of around £180 million in winter 2024-25, which will be covered via the Block Grant Adjustment from the UK Government.
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