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Cold Weather Payments Scheme 2013-14

Volume 568: debated on Wednesday 9 October 2013

I am pleased to announce that later today we intend to lay regulations to amend the cold weather payment scheme. The changes detailed in these regulations will come into force on 1 November this year, in time for the beginning of the winter period.

Following advice from the Met Office, for winter 2013-14, no new weather stations are recommended. However Rostherne weather station has been upgraded and given a permanent status at the same location and Church Fenton weather station is no longer listed as the alternative station for Linton on Ouse and has been replaced with Bramham weather station.

Also, and as a result of MPs’ representations, a few postcodes will be reassigned to suitable weather stations.

This will ensure that the weather stations to postcode links are as representative as the current arrangement.

I am writing to each Member who made representations about the administration of the scheme last winter to make them aware of the advice from the Met Office.

Cold weather payments are separate from, and in addition to, winter fuel payments.

The amendments resulted from the Department’s annual review of the cold weather payments scheme. The review drew on expert advice from the Met Office and took account of representations from benefit claimants and Members of Parliament.

For winter 2013-14 the cold weather payment rate will continue to be £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather.