Ahead of the release of Tuesday’s new fuel poverty statistics, Scottish Liberal Democrats have called on the Scottish Government to set an ambitious new target for tackling fuel poverty and to provide the support required to deliver the policy.
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 required the Scottish Government eradicate fuel poverty by November 2016. Despite the previous statistics showing more than one-in-three households still being in fuel poverty, SNP ministers refused for months to admit that this target would be missed. The Parliament agreed last month to reset the target.
Scottish Liberal Democrats’ housing spokesperson, Caron Lindsay, commented:
“It’s been a month since the Scottish Government missed its statutory responsibility to eradicate fuel poverty. Since then, there has been little word from the Scottish Government about how it plans to turn this situation around.
“Ministers must set out a new and ambitious target for tackling fuel poverty, alongside the resources necessary to meet it. This must involve a Warm Homes Act and catch-up zones for those areas with the highest levels of fuel poverty. That is the way to ensure everyone has a warm and healthy home.”
The party’s energy spokesperson, Liam McArthur MSP, added:
“I hope the figures out tomorrow will show the number of households in fuel poverty falling. Even so, there is no doubt the challenge we face in tackling the scourge of fuel poverty remains enormous. For months, the SNP were in denial, refusing to accept their targets would not be met.
“However, Ministers now have firm proposals from two separate advisory groups. These provide a basis for a revised strategy that must be ambitious and learn from what has gone before. In particular, we need government to recognise the need for flexibility so that approaches can be tailored to meet local circumstances.”