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Britain increases cold weather payments for vulnerable Scots

IANS 04 Nov 2014, 7:23:16 AM IST

London: Britain will provide extra financial support to help low-income and vulnerable Scots pay their heating bills in the cold weather, Britain's Scotland Office announced Monday.

Around 380,000 people in Scotland are estimated to be eligible for extra government help this year to turn up the heating during the coldest snaps, as the Cold Weather Payments season begins, Xinhua quoted the Scotland Office as saying.

When temperatures drop below an average of zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days, or are forecast to do so, poorer pensioners and low-income households, including disabled people or children under the age of five, could be due a 25 pounds Cold Weather Payment each time.

The latest figures show that more than 700 million pounds have been paid out across Britain to vulnerable people under this scheme since 2010.

"Cold weather payments are one example of the steps the UK government is taking to make sure thousands of Scots can cope with difficult weather conditions," Britain's Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said.

"From our towns and cities to the highlands and islands, by sharing of the cost of this essential scheme across the whole of UK we are providing help to those who need it most," he added.

Around nine million households will also receive winter fuel payments to help cover the cost of their heating bills.