Section 2 – About the Consultation
2.1 What are we consulting about?
This document sets out the Scottish Government’s proposed policy approach.
The Scottish Government has committed to replacing WFP with PAWHP on a like-for-like basis. Given the significant number of clients who will be transferred to Social Security Scotland with this benefit and the need to ensure a safe and secure transition, the focus of this consultation is around gathering evidence on people’s views of the current benefit and considering how we could improve the system already in place.
We are therefore consulting on the policy intention behind the delivery of PAWHP, building on the broader consultation on the Social Security Bill in 2016 which asked respondents for their views on WFP and CWP. This consultation aims to provide an overview of the 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 WFP will best meet the needs of those it is intended to help.
We would like to gather views to ensure we have identified the impacts this policy will have, and provide the opportunity to make improvements to the benefit going forward.
2.2 Who might be affected by the approach proposed within the consultation document?
Any individual living in Scotland, or any individual living abroad (who remains covered by European social security agreements and has a genuine and sufficient link to Scotland) who receives a WFP during the winter from DWP, or anyone approaching state pension age will be affected by the approach set out in this consultation document.
Welfare rights agencies, fuel poverty organisations, local authorities and rights organisations may also want to consider the impact of the proposed policy intent both on their organisations as well as on any client groups they support.
2.3 Who do we want to hear from?
We would like to gather views from a range of organisations and individuals, in particular those individuals currently receiving WFP, or people approaching state pension age.
We are also taking this chance to collect additional evidence to inform our impact assessments on the introduction of PAWHP, this will include the impact on different groups as well as businesses. There is an opportunity to feed into these in Section 6 of this consultation and we would welcome your views.
2.4 How will my views inform the policy?
Responses to the consultation will be analysed and, taking this evidence into account, policy decisions will be made. The final policy will be set out in draft regulations which will be scrutinised by the Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) before they are laid in the Scottish Parliament. These will have to be approved by the Parliament before delivery can take place.
We will also continue to develop and design the business processes which will allow citizens to access and receive PAWHP. 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.
2.5 What comments are requested and by when?
We are inviting responses to this consultation paper by 15 January 2024.
To submit your response online please visit our consultation website at https://consult.gov.scot/social-security/pension-age-winter-heating-payment
If you would prefer, you can email your response to our email address; WinterBenefitsPolicy@gov.scot or send to:
Social Security Policy Division
Welfare Fund and Winter Benefits Policy Unit
5 Atlantic Quay
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback