Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has today (Wednesday) pushed the Scottish Government to finalise its Fuel Poverty Strategy, while also ensuring that resources are targeted towards tackling extreme fuel poverty in remote rural and island areas.
During Portfolio Questions in parliament this afternoon, Mr McArthur pressed the Minister for Local Government, Kevin Stewart, to set out a date for completing the strategy. He reminded the Minister that the strategy was absolutely critical to achieving the ambitions set out in the Fuel Poverty Act, adopted by parliament last month.
In response, Mr Stewart confirmed that the strategy would be published in 2020 and that the Scottish Government would, in the meantime, continue to provide support to those worst affected by extreme fuel poverty through their Home Energy programme.
Following the exchange, Mr McArthur commented:
“Tackling fuel poverty doesn’t end with the passing of the Fuel Poverty Act, welcome though it is. We now need to see the government bring forward its strategy as soon as possible. This will drive the action needed to bring down the shocking levels of fuel poverty that continue to blight communities across the country.
“Meantime, there is no reason why resources cannot be targeted at those worst affected. We know that levels of extreme fuel poverty are highest in remote rural and island areas. It was good to hear the Minister acknowledge this in parliament and commit to targeting funding at those most in need. I will certainly be holding the Minister to those commitments in the months ahead.”