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.

Executive Summary

4. This ICIA has considered the potential effects of the introduction of a new Winter Heating Payment (WHP) (previously named Low Income Winter Heating Assistance (LIWHA)) benefit in replacement of Cold Weather Payments (CWP), previously delivered by DWP, and how the policy might impact people living in island communities, presented below in the Key findings section. The findings here are based on desk research, engagement with and feedback from people with lived experience of the current social security system[2], and the Consultation on LIWHA[3]. This ran between 1 December 2021 and 25 February 2022 and asked questions on the proposed policy: replacing occasional, weather-dependent payments of £25 to recipients of certain low income benefits with annual payments of £50 to the same people regardless of weather. We received 119 replies, of which 36 were from stakeholder organisations and 83 were from individuals.

5. In accordance with section 13 of the 2018 Act, this ICIA has:

  • Identified and described areas where WHP regulations will have an effect on an island community which is likely to be significantly different from its effect on other communities (including other island communities);
  • Assessed the extent to which the Scottish Ministers consider that WHP can be developed in such a manner as to improve or mitigate, for island communities, the outcomes resulting from it;
  • Considered and proposed mitigation or actions to support the aims of WHP within the island communities; and
  • Considered any financial implications of the above.

6. We have found that this policy will have a positive impact on people on low incomes living in island communities. We do not believe that it will have a negative impact on island communities. We recognise that fuel costs are on average higher for island communities and that this payment does not adjust for this factor, however, we believe that the particular challenges for island communities are better addressed by these proposals.



Back to top