Michael Moore meets energy companies to discuss social tariffs
The UK Government has spent over £50 million to help some of the most vulnerable in Scotland cope with the recent cold snap, the Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore announced revealed today.
At the Spending Review in October the Coalition Government turned the temporary increase in the Cold Weather Payments by the last government into a permanent increase. The payments of £25 per week are triggered when temperatures at local weather stations dip below an average of zero degrees over a week.
There have been just over two million separate cold weather payments in Scotland between 23 November 2010 and 18 January 2011, totalling around £52.3 million of financial assistance to disabled adults and children, the elderly and families with young children who receive an income related benefit. Around 437,500 individuals in Scotland have received help from the payment scheme at a time when help is needed most.
The Secretary of State said:
“The Coalition Government is committed to supporting the vulnerable in Scotland and the cold weather payments are just one example of the steps we are taking to make sure people can cope with difficult weather conditions. The £52 million Scots have received is money well spent.
“My discussions with the big six energy companies were very useful and I pressed home the importance of maintaining social tariffs to protect those who need most help with their bills. I also know families and businesses have concerns over rising energy costs and we will continue to work with the energy companies closely.”
Many eligible people across Scotland will also have received Winter Fuel Allowance payments, which will also help them at this difficult time of year.
Michael Moore has been working closely with the Energy Secretary on the introduction of the Warm Front Discount scheme which also forms part of the Government’s broader proposals for helping vulnerable customers.
During December, the Secretary of State discussed pricing and social tariffs with senior executives of SSE, Eon, EDF, RWE npower, Scottish Gas and ScottishPower.
The Secretary of State discussed the responsibility of the companies to assist their most vulnerable customers with manageable energy costs and the need to publicise the assistance available. The companies have commitments to maintain their current social tariffs through this winter despite price rises for other customers.