Christina McKelvie MSP welcomes an annual investment of £20 million to help low income households in Scotland during the winter months.

A consultation has been launched on the new heating benefit that will give around 400,000 low income households the reassurance of a guaranteed £50 payment every winter.

The Low Income Winter Heating Assistance will be introduced from winter 2022 to replace the current UK Government Cold Weather Payment scheme.

The current UK Government benefit triggers a £25 payment only when temperatures are recorded or forecast at below zero degrees Celsius for seven days in a row. The replacement Low Income Winter Heating Assistance benefit from the Scottish Government will provide financial stability, no matter the weather.

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Christina Mckelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse said:

“Not only will this proposed new benefit help the people living in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, it will also provide financial security for those in low income households across Scotland.

“It shows the SNPs commitment to provide assistance to households that are at risk of fuel poverty, looking after some of the most vulnerable in our society. 

“This is just another example of the tale of two governments. While the UK Government are slashing the triple lock for pensioners, increasing the tax burden on working families by raising National Insurance payments and prematurely withdrawing Covid income support schemes the SNP are using the devolved powers we have to deliver more effective benefits for the people of Scotland.

”The only way to fully protect the people of Scotland from these Tory cuts and regressive tax hikes is to take our future into our own hands as a normal independent country.”

SNP MSP, Christina McKelvie, has welcomed the First Minister’s announcement that the Scottish Child Payment will be doubled from April 2022.

The announcement will see at least 6,745 eligible children across South Lanarkshire receiving £20 per week from spring next year, with more than 106,000 children across Scotland immediately benefitting from the increased payment.

Since the launch of the Scottish Government payment on 15 February 2021, £1,885,710 has been issued in payments to families in across South Lanarkshire.

It is now expected that over 400,000 children could be eligible for the doubled payment by the end 2022, which is when the benefit, which is unique in the UK, will be extended to children under the age of 16.

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Commenting SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie said:

“I am delighted that at least 6,745 children across South Lanarkshire will have their Scottish Child Payment doubled in just four months time. This will give £20 per child per week to 6,745 children in South Lanarkshire - four times the amount originally demanded by campaigners.

“The Scottish Government’s national mission to tackle child poverty is absolute - with £1,885,710 having been provided to families across South Lanarkshire since February, and almost £32 million across Scotland as a whole.

“The doubling of the Scottish Child Payment to £20 is the type of bold action that makes a real difference to people’s lives and shows how focussed the Scottish Government is on meeting Scotland’s Child Poverty targets.

“Once again, the tale of two governments is striking. While the SNP are doubling the Scottish Child Payment to lift thousands of children out of poverty, the Tories at Westminster have just cut £20 per week from many of the same families – knowingly pushing thousands of families into poverty.

“The people in South Lanarkshire deserve the chance to escape the damaging policies we get under Westminster control and get the chance to choose a better path, one with the full powers that an independent Scotland would bring and allow us to build a fairer society.”

Constituents will likely be aware of the tragic news of the death of 16 year Amber Gibson in Hamilton.

There is an ongoing murder enquiry by the Police and as part of that there will be a substantial Police presence in Cadzow Glen.

Alongside this the Police have increased the number of high-visibility patrols throughout the area. If you have any information or believe that you may have seen Amber at any point of her movements between Friday and Sunday please contact the Police and let them know.

You can do this in person at any station or to any officer, over the phone via 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. I will be making contact with various organisations over the coming days to discuss safety in the town centre and at both train stations. Violence against women is a blight on our society and we must do everything we can to ensure this does not happen again.