Orkney MSP Liam McArthur MSP has responded to the publication today of the latest figures on fuel poverty.
New official statistics showed hundreds of thousands of families cannot afford to heat their homes. Mr McArthur has said that these figures must come as an urgent wake up call for ministers.
He warned that there was no chance of the Scottish Government meeting their target of eradicating fuel poverty by November 2016, and called on Ministers to accept the reality and set out new targets and a timetable for delivery.
Statistics published today showed that in 2014, 845,000 households were in fuel poverty, with 9.5% in extreme fuel poverty.
According to the Scottish Housing statistics survey 2011-2013, Orkney has the second highest rate of fuel poverty of anywhere in the country. 52% of homes are in fuel poverty and 28% of homes in extreme fuel poverty.
Commenting, Liam McArthur MSP said:
“The figures out today show that hundreds of thousands of households across Scotland are in fuel poverty. Sadly, Orkney remains at the top of that list. Too many still face an impossible choice between heating their homes and feeding their families this winter.
“These figures also confirm the Scottish Government will not meet its target of eradicating fuel poverty by November 2016. Instead of acknowledging this, Ministers continue the pretence of working towards it.
“A more responsible approach would be for the Scottish Government to recognise reality, set out a new target and, crucially, the roadmap and timetable for delivery. Scotland and indeed Orkney needs a realistic, coherent plan to tackle fuel poverty, not a government in denial.
“One area in need of urgent attention is building regulations that appear to reduce the incentive for installing insulation in new homes in the islands. As one developer recently remarked, these requirements are building in fuel poverty for the future. This is just one example of the practical steps that can be taken to tackle the scourge of fuel poverty.”
Notes to Editors:
The new statistics can be found online at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/12/8460