Responding to the publication of the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill, Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:
“The SNP Government previously had a target to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016 but this was missed by a huge margin.
“Now Ministers are proposing something far less ambitious, committing to ensure only that less than 5% of households are in fuel poverty by 2040.
“Fuel poverty campaigners, not surprisingly, have been clear that the timidity of this Bill fails to live up to their expectations. More importantly, it falls short of the expectations of those living in fuel poverty.
“The government’s continued unwillingness to accept the specific rural dimension to fuel poverty is also a concern. Choosing to ignore the advice of their own Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force and all those involved in tackling fuel poverty in our rural and island communities is not a sensible strategy for Ministers to take. It may help the government artificially reduce fuel poverty levels in rural areas but it will be fiercely resisted by those of us representing the communities directly affected.”