McArthur : “Mountain to climb” on fuel poverty


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 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 Orkney, 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.”

ENDS

Note to editors:

The  Scottish House Condition Survey - Local Authority Analyses 2013 – 2015 can be found here. It shows fuel poverty rising in:

  • Argyll & Bute (increased by 8%)
  • Moray (increased by 6%)
  • Fife (increased by 4%)
  • Orkney (increased by 2%)
  • Highland (increased by 1%)

Meanwhile, 14 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities saw no change or a decrease of just 1% in the number of fuel poor households.

Two advisory groups published their reports at the end of last year and made over 100 recommendations .The Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force’s report can be found here, and the Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group's report can be found here.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats 2016 manifesto stated that “we will establish catch-up zones for warmer homes and to tackle fuel poverty in remote and island areas which have fallen behind and need more flexibility in the installation requirements”.


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