MSP welcomes new £50 heating benefit for low income households

Local SNP MSP Rona Mackay has welcomed the planned introduction of the new low-income Winter Heating Assistance benefit to help people in Strathkelvin and Bearsden and across Scotland pay their energy bills.

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Rona Mackay MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden
Rona Mackay MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden

The support is being introduced by the Scottish Government and will guarantee an annual payment of £50 to around 400,000 low income households from February 2023.

It replaces the UK government’s Cold Weather payments which were only triggered during a ‘cold spell’ of seven consecutive days below zero degrees.

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The new payment from the Scottish Government will provide a reliable, stable guaranteed payment in winter, no matter the weather.

It will be the thirteenth social security payment introduced by the SNP Scottish Government and will be only available in Scotland.

Ms Mackay said: “The SNP Scottish Government is providing a guaranteed payment of £50 to low-income households in Strathkelvin and Bearsden to help pay their energy bills every winter, starting in February 2023.

“Once again the SNP Scottish Government is stepping up to support households within its limited budget and despite the majority of powers lying with the Tories at Westminster.

“The Scottish Government’s annual £20m investment will mean households will get an automatic payment. The UK Cold Weather payments only reached 11,000 households in 2021/22.

“As the Scottish Government continues to step up and provide support to households across Scotland, it does so with one hand tied behind its back by the UK Tory government.

“That is why it is only with the full powers of independence can we start to build a fairer, more equal country.”

Meanwhile, the MSP added that 1,345 children in East Dunbartonshire have been supported by the Scottish Child Payment since its introduction by the SNP Scottish Government.

Some £628,390 has been spent supporting families in East Dunbartonshire since February 2021.

Children across the area are already benefitting from further support after the Scottish Government doubled the payment to £20 per week per child in April and will increase it further to £25 by the end of the year.