CONSULTATION has been launched on a proposed heating benefit which is to help low income households from winter 2022.

The Low Income Winter Heating Assistance by the Scottish Government will be introduced from next winter to replace the current UK Government Cold Weather Payment scheme.

It will give around 400,000 low income households a guaranteed payment of £50 every year, as opposed to the current benefit which triggers a £25 payment only when temperatures are recorded or forecast at below zero degrees for seven days in a row.

Ben Macpherson, social security minister, explained the benefit will be supported by around £20million every year and said: “Although Cold Weather Payments have been a valuable support for some during periods of very cold weather, there have been some years when hardly any payments have been made at all by the UK Government.

“If winters, as predicted, are due to become generally wetter and warmer then this may also reduce the numbers of Cold Weather Payments in the future.

“We want people to have certainty about receiving a payment.

“Our proposed new benefit will be the equivalent to two payments of Cold Weather Payment and should ensure that most people will be better off.

“Significantly, it will also enable us to provide assistance to more households that are at risk of fuel poverty.”

Visit for the consultation.