Winter Heating Payment (Low Income) (Scotland): island communities impact assessment
This island communities impact assessment ICIA) sets out to assess the specific impact of the introduction of the Winter Heating Payment on Scottish island communities.
Monitoring and Review
51. The Winter Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group will continue to play a vital role in the development of WHP policy and practice. The group membership is comprised of key stakeholders supporting and representing the needs of WHP recipients. The group will provide a form for dialogue and will monitor the implementation of the benefit, raising any issues voiced by eligible recipients and organisations.
52. The Scottish Government has put in place a monitoring and evaluation plan for WHP which takes account of the issues identified within this impact assessment. Monitoring the impact of the WHP in island and remote rural communities will be a continuous process and where any unintended consequences are identified, we will consider what steps can be made to minimise any negative impact.
53. The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 places a duty on the Scottish Ministers to report annually to the Scottish Parliament on the performance of the Scottish social security system during the previous financial year. The report is to describe what the Scottish Ministers have done in that year to meet the expectations on them set out in the Charter and will include information on the impact of island-proofing.
54. The Scottish Ministers have also committed to engaging with, and reporting regular progress to, the Islands Strategic Group to ensure that those representing the interests of island communities and others with experience of the current system, are fairly represented in the development and delivery of the Scottish social security system.
55. Once payments are being made we will, as with other benefits, seek to make ongoing improvements based on the feedback of clients. We will collate management information to monitor the characteristics of recipients and will undertake qualitative research to test whether WHP is meeting its policy intentions. This will inform any future consideration of variations to policy or delivery arrangements.
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