Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today [Tuesday] co-sponsored the Cold Climate Allowance Bill led by Neale Hanvey MP, as a pathway to reducing fuel poverty in the isles. The Bill, read for the first time in Parliament today, aims to introduce a Cold Climate Allowance which would seek to make an additional monetary payment to all those in receipt of the state pension and other social security benefits during the winter months.
Under the Bill, the UK would be split into four climatic zones, with eligible recipients receiving a higher rate of allowance depending on their location. Orkney and Shetland residents would receive the highest rate of Cold Climate Allowance under this proposal. All eligible recipients in the UK would receive a Cold Climate Allowance with the amount paid increasing by 10% at each regional tier.
Commenting on the Bill, Mr Carmichael said:
“I am glad to back the introduction of the Cold Climate Allowance Bill today. Versions of this proposal have been debated in past years and backed by MPs on all sides of Parliament – at a time when household bills are rising and the cost of living is on every family’s agenda it may be the moment for the government to consider this plan again.
“As with the idea of the Isles Tariff and other similar proposals, today’s Bill amounts to a recognition that fuel poverty does not strike all parts of the country evenly. Support measures like the Winter Fuel Payment, while beneficial, are too broad to eliminate the scourge of fuel poverty on their own. Targeted support is the right approach to take – and ministers should take the ideas within this Bill seriously.”