The Treasury minister has announced further support for those in a vulnerable financial position.

Alex Allinson made a financial statement in Tynwald today and as part of this said that a third round of Energy Support Payments and Family Support Payments will be introduced.

Energy Support Payments, worth £300 per household, are payable to households responsible for housing costs who are getting an income related benefit.

The first round of these payments was made in April, the second in October and this order provides for a third round payable in December.

Dr Allinson explained that this third round of Energy Support Payments will replace the Winter Bonus normally paid in January to certain recipients of income support.

However, Energy Support Payments are payable to a wider range of people who get income-related benefits, including those getting employed person’s allowance and income based jobseeker’s allowance, so giving additional help in this way will ensure more low income households will benefit.

The total cost of the three rounds of the Energy Support Payments paid this year has been estimated to be just over £3m, benefitting up to 3,500 households.

Family Support Payments worth up to £400 per household are payable to all families receiving Child Benefit.

Those receiving full rate Child Benefit will receive £300.

As with the previous two rounds, an additional £50 will be paid to all families receiving Child Benefit with two children, and £100 for families with at least three children.

The first round of Family Support Payments was paid in May, the second round was paid in November, and it is now proposed that a third round of payments is made in December.

The total cost of these three rounds of Family Support Payments is estimated to be approximately £5.4million, benefitting over 6,000 families.

Dr Allinson added: ‘And we have committed to continue delivering the Christmas Bonus at a higher level and to a wider range of beneficiaries than in the UK.’

He told Tynwald members that he is aware of other sectors of society feeling financial pressure this winter so he is currently working with Treasury officers to bring back a repeat payment of the Long Term Benefit Support Payment in January.

This will directly benefit all pensioners, those with disabilities and those on other long term support.

If approved this would add another £5.6 million to the total amount of support given to our community.