More West Lothian Council cash to tackle energy costs

West Lothian Council has allocated funding to help mitigate the impact of rising energy costs and the changes to Universal Credit.

Stock photo.
Stock photo.

In October 2021, the Scottish Government announced a Winter Support Fund to support wellbeing and respond to financial insecurity. West Lothian Council’s allocation was £780,000, with over £570,000 used for direct financial assistance for those likely to experience hardship. The rest was used for Fuel and Food Support and for those households who need help but do not qualify for any other support. Around 4,600 people in West Lothian will benefit, with this payment aimed at particular vulnerable groups who also have a disability premium in their council tax reduction calculation.

West Lothian Council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: “It is vitally important that we get this support to the groups identified as quickly as possible especially with the increase in living costs.

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"Since the original council decision was made in December 2021, cost pressures have increased significantly and we believe making these payments to be the best use of this particular resource from the Scottish Government.”

Nahid Hanif, the council’s Anti-Poverty Manager added: “The proposed one-off allocation of £573,000 provides a response to help key groups of low-income households. The payment provides a significant additional payment which will ensure those impacted by the increased living costs will have access to additional money.”

Those who qualify will be notified and will receive a £135 payment in April. The money will be paid directly into bank accounts.