Cold weather payments triggered by Arctic blast
People on the lowest incomes in Wales will receive a £25 cold weather payment amid plummeting temperatures.
The UK Government payments have been triggered for eligible households in areas where the average temperature has been forecast to be 0C or below over seven consecutive days.
The Met Office has issued several yellow weather warnings for snow and ice in parts of Wales over the coming days.
The cold snap is expected to continue into Saturday with wintry showers and icy patches likely to cause treacherous conditions.
The bank top-up of £25 will be in eligible people’s bank account within 14 days of the trigger.
Annual fuel poverty data released by the Welsh Government estimated that up to 45% of Welsh homes could now be in fuel poverty.
Adam Scorer, chief executive of National Energy Action, said more must be done for “those at greatest peril.”
Mr Scorer said: “Impossibly high prices and now cold weather will leave millions struggling to stay warm and safe at home.
“We hear daily from people who are forced to turn their heating off when they need it the most.
“The vicious choice is either huge debt or an unheated home, with dreadful consequences either way. We will now start to see just how bleak this winter is going to be.”
People claiming pension credit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, universal credit and support for mortgage interest could be eligible for the cold weather payments.
A Department of Work and Pensions spokesman said: “These additional payments provide support every year to help people experiencing the coldest weather.
“Cold weather payments can be triggered right through to the end of March, giving people facing disproportionately cold weather that extra reassurance over the chillier months.”
The RAC has warned that drivers should be prepared for hazardous conditions and to bring a blanket and fully charged mobile in case of a breakdown.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “With temperatures plummeting this week, many drivers might be taken aback by the cold after an exceptionally mild autumn.
“Our advice is to be winter ready – check tyres are properly inflated and with good tread, while topping up oil, coolant and screen wash levels if needed.
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