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Cold Weather Payments

Volume 201: debated on Friday 20 December 1991

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what recent consultations he has had concerning the operation of the advance warning system available to inform potential recipients of special cold weather payments that the temperature trigger points had been reached; and if he will make a statement.

Regular consultations on the cold weather payments scheme take place between the Meteorological Office and the Department. The new elements of the scheme are being monitored particularly closely.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many people will receive cold weather payments from the social fund following the recent spell of cold weather;(2) how many people who would have been eligible for payment will not receive the £6 payment because the area of the country they lived in did not fully meet the temperature criteria of the scheme during the recent spell of cold weather.

Following the recent spell of cold weather 1,432,044 cold weather payments have been authorised out of an estimated total of 2,600,000 people, who would have been entitled to a payment if every area of the country had met the temperature criteria.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list by United Kingdom standard region, and by Benefits Agency administrative division, the numbers of recipients of cold weather payments in the week commencing 9 December.

The following table sets out, by individual weather station, the number of cold weather payments authorised during the recent cold spell. The information is not held by Benefits Agency administrative division, and could be obtained in this form only at disproportionate cost.

Cold Weather Payments
Bedford RAE5–11 December46,879
Birmingham AP5–11 December192,901
Boscombe Down6–12 December6,165
Brize Norton6–12 December36,036
Coningsby6–12 December8,234
Dumfries/Drungans5–11 December3,456
Easthampstead6–12 December21,696
Eskdalemuir3–9 December3,530
Finningley5–11 December68,911
Gatwick AP6–12 December21,474
Honington6–12 December8,078
Leeming5–11 December86,012
Lyneham6–12 December13,394
Marham6–12 December10,165
Shawbury5–11 December68,611
Stansted6–12 December70,865
Watnall6–12 December113,978
Wyton6–12 December18,807
Clifynydd8–14 December18,336
Coltishall7–13 December25,222
Cwmbargoed7–13 December20,838
Heathrow AP8–14 December382,487
Leeds WC7–13 December93,812
Waddington7–13 December55,445
Wattisham8–14 December22,161
Yeovilton8–14 December14,551

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make it his policy to waive the seven-day qualifying period for cold weather payments to ensure that all those eligible under the scheme receive a £6 payment.

Seven days of cold weather is a fair representation of a sustained period which is likely to lead to extra heating costs. We have no plans to reduce the qualifying period.