Cole-Hamilton reveals SNP insultation scheme could take almost 100 years

26 Jun 2024
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP

Speaking at a campaign event at Edinburgh Zoo, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today unveiled analysis by his party showing that the Scottish Government’s flagship fuel poverty scheme could take almost a hundred years to reach all eligible households.

He also set out Scottish Liberal Democrat manifesto plans for a ten-year emergency upgrade programme to cut bills and emissions and warned that unless urgent action is taken our planet’s animals will suffer.

In response to a parliamentary question, the Scottish Government revealed that Warmer Homes Scotland, the Scottish Government’s fuel poverty scheme, has helped just 37,902 households since it launched nine years ago.

On average 4,566 households were helped in each year of the scheme (excluding partial year figures). That means if progress continues at the same rate, it will take around 95 years for the scheme to help the 433,000 households who are estimated to be eligible for support during phase 2.

The Scottish Government’s own estimates suggest that as of October 2022, 860,000 households were in fuel poverty.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“One in six British species are at risk of going extinct and a big part of that is down to our warming climate.

“Here in Scotland, housing is one of our biggest sources of emissions because it is cold, leaky and relies on fossil fuels.

“Improving home insulation and switching to green heating systems can be a win-win, cutting emissions and bringing down bills.

“However, the Scottish Government support scheme is a complete failure. A programme that will take almost 100 years to get the job done is failing the planet and everyone struggling with high energy bills. SNP ministers have missed climate targets year after year, but they seem content to plod along.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats have set out ambitious plans to turn things around. We want to give everyone a fair deal, cutting emissions and ending fuel poverty with an emergency programme of home insulation and heat pumps.”

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