Cold climate allowance could offer extra support

A cold climate allowance could pave the way to offer extra support.

A new bill going before MPs aims to split the UK into four climatic zones.

Isles residents eligible for the support could be entitled to the highest rate of allowance, which would also apply to some residents in Orkney, Western Isles, Highland, Grampian and Tayside.

The allowance could be paid to state pensioners and those receiving other benefits over the winter months.

All eligible recipients in the UK would receive the allowance with the amount paid increasing by 10 per cent at each regional tier.

The bill, being led by Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Neale Hanvey, is today [Tuesday] being read for the first time at Westminster.

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael is a co-sponsor of the bill.

“I am glad to back the introduction of the cold climate allowance bill today,” he said.

“Versions of this proposal have been debated in past years and backed by MPs on all sides of parliament – at a time when household bills are rising and the cost of living is on every family’s agenda it may be the moment for the government to consider this plan again.

“As with the idea of the isles tariff and other similar proposals, today’s bill amounts to a recognition that fuel poverty does not strike all parts of the country evenly.

“Support measures like the winter fuel payment, while beneficial, are too broad to eliminate the scourge of fuel poverty on their own.

“Targeted support is the right approach to take – and ministers should take the ideas within this bill seriously.”


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