Tackling fuel poverty – Greens were streets ahead

Posted on June 6, 2012

Scottish Greens say ministers have failed the most vulnerable in society by delaying so long before creating a National Retrofit scheme to tackle growing levels of fuel poverty.

The idea was first proposed by the Greens in the knife-edge budget debate in 2009 after nearly a year spent attempting to persuade the SNP to support it.

Greens proposed a 10 year programme to fit loft and cavity wall insulation free-of-charge, area-by-area. This would have quickly delivered hundreds of pounds of savings on heating bills for households and created vital jobs in the construction sector.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow, said:

“Ministers are playing catch up when they could have taken the sort of action advocated years ago by the Greens and now the Fuel Poverty Forum. The SNP Government has failed the most vulnerable in our society by not acting urgently, and the fuel poverty figures have grown steadily as a result.

“It is shameful to see that we now have over three quarters of a million Scottish households in fuel poverty.

“The SNP like to blame budget cuts from Westminster but in reality this is about choices. Ministers chose to blow their budgets on unnecessary and environmentally destructive projects like the M74 extension and a Second Forth Road Bridge that will do nothing to help the vulnerable in our society.

“Greens will keep up the pressure to ensure the government finally delivers on today’s promise of a national retrofit scheme.”