Inverness residents to receive increased winter payment
The continuation of a winter payments scheme with an increase of £2 has been approved by members of Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee.
The winter payments scheme will be available for eligible residents of the Inverness area in 2019/20. The scheme involves a single payment of £84, to support Inverness residents who are most in need of financial help to pay their higher heating bills during the coldest months of the year.
Inverness Common Good Fund is providing this discretionary funding and it is only available to those living in the city of Inverness and the surrounding areas of the seven city wards. The programme will be unavailable to those outside of this area.
Throughout the winter of 2018/19, 1,517 households received payments totalling £124,394.
Provost of Inverness and area, Councillor Helen Carmichael, said: “The increase in uptake of the Inverness Winter Payment Scheme over the past 4 years by around 40% shows that during continued welfare reform, there is still an increasing demand for this type of financial assistance. Members recognise the difficulties that people face during winter, sometimes having to make a choice between eating or turning the heating on.
“We hope that by providing this discretionary payment, and through the council’s continued work to promote the uptake of other sources of financial support and advice that we can improve the well-being of those most in need in Inverness.”
Alongside the discretionary fund, council officers will continue to provide advice and information on the UK Government’s Winter Fuel and Cold Weather Payments; the Warm Home Discount Scheme; and will encourage applicants to seek valuable advice on energy efficiency.
Highland Council will promote how to apply for the 2019/20 Inverness Winter Discretionary Payments Scheme in due course.