OVER £400,000 in payments were made to Fife families to help them heat their homes last winter.

Almost 2,000 payments of £214.10 were made to the families of disabled children and young people in the region for the 2022 to 2023 winter period, according to latest official statistics for Child Winter Heating Assistance.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “The cost of living crisis and higher energy bills mean that families are struggling more than ever.

“Getting this money to families who may need to heat their homes for longer than others over the winter months provides crucial financial support and eases financial pressure at a challenging time of year. Therefore, it is welcome news that £400,000 has been paid to eligible families in Fife for winter 2022/23."

The payment is made automatically once a year and the 2022 to 2023 payment was £115,000 more than for the last winter. The grant will be increased by a further 10.1 per cent to £235.70 for the 2023 to 2024 winter period.

She continued: “This Scottish Government benefit is one of seven benefits only available in Scotland and is automatically paid to families of the most severely disabled children and young people .

“I urge anyone who is struggling during the cost of living crisis to visit the Scottish Government’s Cost of Living website for support and advice.”