The Scottish Liberal Democrats have announced plans to cut energy bills and tackle fuel poverty by declaring home insulation a national strategic priority, doubling fuel poverty budgets and increasing incentives for all homes.
The Scottish Liberal Democrat's top candidate for the North East, Rosemary Bruce has warned that urgent action is needed to end “ the cruel choice too many people face between heating their home or putting food on their plates." Pointing to official figures which reveal that more than 1 in 5 homes across the North East are in fuel poverty and more than 1 in 10 are in extreme fuel poverty.
Fuel Poverty & Extreme Fuel Poverty percentage by local authority area:
- Aberdeen City - 23% & 12%
Aberdeenshire - 25% & 16%
Angus - 20% & 10%
Dundee City - 32% & 13%
The Scottish Liberal Democrats warn SNP plans will still leave 1 in 20 households in fuel poverty by 2040. The Lib Dem proposals have estimated that their zero carbon homes strategy would create 34,000 jobs in energy efficiency and upgrade 80,000 homes per year over the next five years.
Rosemary Bruce, who is also standing for the Aberdeenshire West constituency added:
“We need urgent action to end the cruel choice too many people face between heating their home or putting food on their plates.
“It is a disgrace that after 14 years of SNP Government many households face fuel poverty. Our plans would help lift households out of fuel poverty, create jobs and protect our planet.
“Investing now to cut carbon from our energy networks will pay an environmental dividend for decades - we can’t afford to wait.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie added:
“We must take action now to improve homes and make them greener. This will create jobs, cut bills and tackle the climate emergency.
“When I say Scottish Liberal Democrats will put recovery first, this is what it looks like: more jobs, lower bills and greener homes.”
Notes to editors
The Scottish Liberal Democrats will double the £94m fuel poverty budget by 2025/2026 in order to tackle 80,000 fuel poor homes per year.
The party will aim to double the number of installations of zero emission heat pumps every year to achieve the 2030 target. This will require major effort to scale up manufacturing and installation and to provide incentives for householders, particularly in the early phase.
Official fuel poverty statistics can be found here.