McArthur : “Mountain to climb” on fuel poverty

Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesman and Orkney MSP, Liam McArthur has called on Scottish Ministers to speed up action to tackle fuel poverty in Scotland, as new figures show levels continuing to rise across the country.

Official figures revealed that Mr McArthur’s own Orkney constituency remains worst affected, with two thirds of island households deemed “fuel poor”. This represents a rise of 2% between 2013 and 2015. Meanwhile, in Argyll & Bute, Highland, Moray and Fife fuel poverty levels jump by 8%.

The publication follows Scottish Government ministers finally admitting that they would miss the target to eradicate fuel poverty by November 2016.

Commenting on the figures, Mr McArthur said:

“Levels of fuel poverty in this country continue to shame us all. These latest figures simply reinforce the urgent need for Scottish Ministers to speed up action to tackle the problem that affects communities across Scotland.

“In my own constituency, around two out of every three households is estimated to be affected. This is a sobering statistic and one that underscores the need for a tailored approach in rural and island areas.  Not only must Ministers now bring forward a Warm Homes Bill but we need to see “catch-up zones” for those areas worst affected.  

“There is a mountain to climb in getting on top of fuel poverty.  We now need to move from strategies to urgent action, backed by proper resources.”

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