28 July 2023
The Government of Jersey has announced its commitment to provide continued assistance to vulnerable households during the upcoming winter season.
The Minister for Social Security, Deputy Elaine Millar, has lodged regulations to extend a scheme to provide a guaranteed £70 a month to households eligible for the Cold Weather Bonus and Cold Weather Payment schemes.
Last year, in response to increasing energy costs and the rising cost of living, the Council of Ministers took decisive action to replace the normal temperature-driven payments with a fixed £70 monthly allowance.
This proactive measure was implemented for six months, from October to March, effectively providing each eligible household with a total of £420 during the winter period. The scheme significantly boosted financial support, as without this intervention, recipients would have received only £265.01.
Recent reports from the Retail Price Index have indicated that fuel prices have stabilized over the past year. However, Jersey Electricity has announced its intention to impose a 12% increase in local electricity prices at the start of 2024. With the planned price increases and the ongoing pressures of the cost of living, Deputy Millar has proposed extending the fixed £70 monthly payments for the forthcoming winter season.
Speaking about the proposal, the Minister said, "Last year, we provided essential support to over 3,800 households by granting monthly payments of £70 throughout the winter months to offset heating costs, following worldwide escalation in energy prices.
"The impact of this scheme was that these households received 58% more support than normal.
"I am delighted to present plans for the continuation of this invaluable scheme for the upcoming winter, as it serves to assist eligible pensioner households and low-income households that include young children or individuals with disabilities."
The Minister's proposed extension of the scheme is scheduled to be debated by the States Assembly on September 12th.