SNP pledge on winter fuel welcomed

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The Scottish National Party has committed to protecting and enhancing the Winter Fuel Payment if re-elected, a move supported by their Angus South candidate.

Graeme Dey, the SNP candidate for Angus South, has welcomed the commitment from the First Minister and SNP Leader, Nicola Sturgeon, that an SNP Government will protect the Winter Fuel Payment and adapt payments to suit Scottish circumstances.

An SNP Government will also extend Winter Fuel Payments to the families of children with severe needs, those in receipt of the highest level of DLA, supporting households with the additional costs of heating a home. A move which will benefit around 14,000 children and their families each year.

Ensuring payments for the 122,000 households in Scotland who are off grid – including nearly 80,000 pensioner households – will make winter fuel payments go further by allowing households to buy their fuel when prices are cheaper rather than at peak rates during winter.

Winter Fuel Payments are due to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament during the next parliament.

Mr Dey commented: “Providing for the early payment of the Winter Fuel Allowance for those who live off-grid is an issue that my colleague Mike Weir, the MP for Angus, has long campaigned for. It is also a matter that I have raised with the Scottish Government ahead of its devolution.

“I am delighted that Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that now that these powers are coming to Holyrood, a re-elected SNP Government will use them in this way.

“Allowing those people who live off grid to access their payments earlier will allow them to purchase fuel when it is cheaper so that it goes further.

“I also welcome the pledge that the Winter Fuel Allowance will be extended to families with children with severe disabilities, as they often face higher heating costs.”