As Minister for Social Security and Local Government, in December I was pleased to launch the consultation on our proposed Low Income Winter Heating Assistance, which will replace Cold Weather Payments in Scotland from winter 2022-23. This new benefit will continue to help people with the costs of heating their homes in winter. However, unlike the UK Government's Cold Weather Payments, our benefit will not be dependent on cold weather in a specific area to trigger a payment. Instead, removing the cold weather condition will provide people on other qualifying low income benefits with an additional payment of support that they will be able to be certain about receiving from the Scottish Government.
I am pleased that so many people took the time to respond to the consultation. I am also pleased that most of our proposals were supported by respondents. This document explains the changes that we have been able to make to our policy as a result of the views and feedback we received during the consultation period, and the further consideration that we will undertake.
Our new benefit will be launched safely, securely and on schedule this winter providing reliable new financial support to around 400,000 people.
Since I launched the consultation the Scottish Government has been working to help with increases to the cost of living. That has included doubling our Scottish Child Payment to £20 per week, per eligible child, and providing a further £10 million to continue our Fuel Insecurity Fund into 2022-23. Our new Low Income Winter Heating Assistance will deliver a further benefit in Scotland and support more people with their energy costs.
Ben Macpherson MSP
Minister for Social Security and Local Government
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