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.
7. The policy background to the Winter Heating Assistance (Low Income) (Scotland) Regulations 2023 and further information about the specific provisions are fully set out in the published draft regulations and accompanying policy note.
8. The policy aligns closely with the Scottish Government's Wealthier and Fairer Strategic Objectives, but also links with the Scottish Governments priorities to tackle child poverty and the cost of living crisis.
9. The policy contributes to the following National Outcomes:
- Children and Young People: We grow up loved, safe and respected so that they realise their full potential. This policy will have a positive impact on disabled children and children under five children living in low income households. Evidence has shown that living in a cold home can have a negative impact on health, educational attainment, emotional wellbeing and resilience. WHP will provide a financial boost to the family income of the most vulnerable children.
- Communities: We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe. This additional support will help towards ensuring those most in need are living in a warm home.
- Health: We are healthy and active. The policy may reassure vulnerable people that they can afford to maintain a safe temperature at home during the winter, reducing the health risks due to living in cold environments).
- Human Rights: We respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination. Social Security is a human right and through provision of a new benefit we help progress the support that is available.
- Poverty: We tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth and power more equally. The policy intention of WHP is to provide financial support to eligible individuals who have a greater need for heat during the coldest months. WHP in particular specifically targets low-income households who, due to their specific circumstances may be at higher risk of fuel poverty and of being in poverty, providing a £50 payment to around 400,000 households annually.
10. This impact assessment is one of a package to accompany the regulations. The others are: Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA); Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA); Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) and the Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment.
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