Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister for Communities whether she will amend the eligibility criteria to make the Affordable Warmth Scheme more accessible by increasing the income threshold for the scheme and that Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Carer’s Allowance and Attendance Allowance be excluded from the calculation of income; and, if so, when this work will begin.
Minister for Communities: The DfC carried out a public consultation between 17th November 2017 and 16th February 2018 into proposed changes to the Affordable Warmth Scheme. The DfC proposed to raise the income threshold to £23,000 for households with more than one adult and reducing it to £18,000 for all single person households. It further proposed that Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Carer’s Allowance are not included in the calculation of income for the Affordable Warmth Scheme.
The consultation found significant support for both these proposals. I will consider the findings of the consultation and make a decision on the implementation of the proposals by the end of February 2020.