Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice
I am pleased to inform Members that the Winter Fuel Support Scheme payment will be doubled to £200 to help households meet high energy prices, which are driving the cost-of-living crisis.
We initially made a £100 Winter Fuel Support Scheme payment available in December, when we launched our £51m Household Support Fund. This payment is now being extended to support eligible households with rising energy bills.
Right across Wales, people are seeing their bills rise and wages are being stretched like never before. Some people are facing the incredibly difficult decision about whether they heat or eat.
The £51m Household Support Fund has targeted support towards families across Wales. We know these initiatives are working and making a real difference to the lives of low income households.
That’s why we’re extending this support by doubling the Winter Fuel Support Scheme payment. We’re increasing the £100 payment to £200 and this will be available to new applicants and retrospectively paid to those who have applied already.
Local authorities will process new applications from eligible households. To be eligible for the payment, one member of the household must be in receipt of certain welfare benefits. Further details are available on local authority websites, which will be updated to reflect the increased payment.
Councils have contacted people they believe are eligible. If they have not yet made an application, these can be submitted until 28 February.
People who have already received a £100 payment under the scheme do not need to anything – they will receive a further £100 payment in the coming weeks.
We are determined to do all we can to support our people with the bills they are facing, and this will go a long way to do just that.
I want to pay tribute to our local authorities for swiftly processing these payments. We all know they’ve been under tremendous pressure during the pandemic – time and again, they have stepped up to the plate and delivered for our communities.
Around 350,000 householders are eligible to apply for a payment under the scheme.
This additional £100 increase will go some way to helping the most vulnerable in our society to pay their fuel bills during this difficult time and I’m determined to do all we can to continue to support the people of Wales through the cost of living crisis.