SNP MP secures Westminster debate on UK fuel poverty

fuel povertyAn SNP MP will lead a debate into fuel poverty tomorrow (24 Nov 2015) in Westminster to highlight the millions of households in the UK that are unable to keep their home adequately heated.

The Scottish Government has committed half a billion pounds to tackling fuel poverty through a raft of programmes and this year a record budget of £119 million is being made available to fuel poverty and home efficiency schemes.

Drew Hendry, MP (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)  said: “Fuel poverty is the quiet and hidden thief in many households, as people’s finances become increasingly pressured due to rising unit costs of electricity. 

“Electricity charged at a premium in the very parts of the UK with the coldest weather and where it gets dark earlier exasperates the growing issue of fuel poverty.

“This is an issue that is affecting the lives of many of my constituents and many more across the Highlands and Islands and elsewhere, it hits those who work as well as those on social security, it hits people with disabilities especially hard and has a hugely detrimental effect on children living in households affected by it.

“The Scottish Government has dedicated over half a billion pounds to tackling fuel poverty and home efficiency programmes since 2009 but the Scottish Government cannot eliminate fuel poverty through energy efficiency alone – 27% of households living in dwellings which have an EPC of B or C are thought to be in fuel poverty.

“The Tories’ ideological obsession with austerity means that many household budgets are being squeezed harder than ever before and that is before taking account of cuts to tax credits and if energy prices continue to rise the problem of fuel poverty will only be exacerbated.

“I urge George Osborne to take a serious look at the impact that fuel poverty has on our communities and to bring forward urgent measures in the UK spending review (25 Nov 2015) that will provide real warmth through action for thousands of households.”

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