McArthur reveals widening fuel poverty gap across Scotland


Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesman Liam McArthur MSP has slammed SNP Ministers today for their continual denial over the extent of fuel poverty in Scotland, as new figures show a significant proportion of households across all 32 council areas remain fuel poor.

The latest Scottish Housing Statistics survey reveal a widening gap between urban areas, where on the whole fuel poverty levels have remained static or fallen, and remote northern and island areas, where levels increased between 2013 and 2014.

Orkney has overtaken the Western Isles as the area with the highest levels of fuel poverty in Scotland, with almost two thirds of households affected and a third in extreme fuel poverty.

Even in areas where levels have improved, the figures fly in the face of SNP Ministers’ continual denial that the Scottish Government’s November 2016 target for eradicating fuel poverty in Scotland will be missed.

Commenting on the figures Mr McArthur said: “In 2016, the year fuel poverty is due to be eradicated in Scotland, no-one should have to make the choice between eating and heating because they cannot afford both.

“These figures show major regional differences and a widening gap between urban areas and remote areas like our island communities, where fuel poverty and extreme fuel poverty levels have gone up substantially.

“I simply cannot understand why SNP Ministers refuse to acknowledge that they are set to miss their target.  It is as if they are determined to bury their heads in the sand. By doing so, however, they are causing more problems and delaying the opportunity to identify solutions to what is a very real threat to public health.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats want cross-party support to achieve a warmer healthier home for every single person in Scotland. But that can only start once the SNP recognise that the November 2016 will not be met and that a revised strategy is needed.  Ministers must also look confirm that the proposed 13% cut in fuel poverty spending will not go ahead.”

Notes:

The latest tables showing the proportion of households in fuel poverty and extreme fuel poverty, broken down by local authority, are below.

Local Authority

Fuel poverty 2012-14 (% of households)

Extreme fuel poverty 2012-14 (% of households)

Aberdeen

29

9

Aberdeenshire

39

14

Angus

42

13

Argyll & Bute

40

14

Clackmannanshire

32

7

Dumfries & Galloway

46

15

Dundee

41

7

East Ayrshire

38

9

East Dunbartonshire

28

6

East Lothian

33

7

East Renfrewshire

32

10

Edinburgh

25

6

Eilean Siar

62

26

Falkirk

28

7

Fife

36

11

Glasgow

34

8

Highland

55

23

Inverclyde

43

6

Midlothian

30

7

Moray

40

12

North Ayrshire

40

9

North Lanarkshire

34

6

Orkney

63

30

Perth & Kinross

38

12

Renfrewshire

29

7

Scottish Borders

39

14

Shetland Islands

53

19

South Ayrshire

35

9

South Lanarkshire

30

7

Stirling

34

10

West Dunbartonshire

29

6

West Lothian

29

5


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