Scottish Labour have written to the Social Security Minister demanding action to ensure no-one loses out this winter due to the SNP’s new winter payment scheme.

This winter the Scottish Government scrapped Cold Weather Payments and replaced them with a new devolved Low Income Winter Heating Assistance – but thousands are at risk of losing out as a result.

The new Scottish payments are paid out at a fixed rate, rather than being paid out depending on weather. As a result, people will be left much worse off during colder winters.

Analysis has shown that if this system had been in place in 2020, approximately 65,000 people would have received less money as a result.

Spells of cold temperatures this winter have prompted concerns that the new scheme will see people missing out during the worst cost of living crisis in decades.

The scheme has already come under fire over delays, which have left people waiting until March for these vital payments.

Dumbarton constituency MSP Jackie Baillie and her Scottish Labour colleagues have today called on the Scottish Government to guarantee that they will ensure no-one receives less than they would have under the previous system, warning that it would be a “gross betrayal” if the new system leaves people worse off than with the DWP.

Jackie Baillie said: “We are in the midst of the worst cost of living crisis in a generation, but thousands of people across Scotland and many in my constituency in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond stand to miss out on lifeline support under the SNP’s plans.

“If the SNP don’t change course, these payments will quite literally be too little, too late.

“This is against everything Scotland’s social security system was supposed to stand for and is pushing people who are most in need in our local communities into an even worse financial situation than they are in now.

“The Minister must give a cast-iron guarantee that the SNP won’t short-change anyone this winter with their new scheme.”

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