Scottish Liberal Democrats today said the Scottish Government’s warm words on tackling fuel poverty must be backed up by additional investment and a new strategy, after ministers finally admitted that they are going to miss the target to eradicate fuel poverty by November 2016.
The Housing Minister made the admission in response to the interim findings of the Fuel Poverty Strategy Working Group.
More than one-in-three Scots households are in fuel poverty and one-in-10 in extreme fuel poverty. The most recent national statistics, published in December 2015, stated there had been “no real change” in fuel poverty levels.
Caron Lindsay, Scottish Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson, commented:
“The Scottish Government’s warm words on fuel poverty are betrayed by the fact that they have reduced the amount spent on tackling it by 13% this year.
“Again the SNP government has let down the poorest by failing to reduce fuel poverty. 845,000 households struggling to pay heating bills need them to stop talking and start acting.”
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP added:
“With a third of households in fuel poverty and the latest figures showing ‘no change’, the announcement that it won’t be eradicated by November comes as no surprise whatsoever.
“Experts have been telling ministers this for months. Scottish Liberal Democrats held a debate at Parliament in January calling for a fresh strategy and new target but ministers refused to listen. They just couldn't bring themselves to admit this failure until after the election.”