DRAFT BUDGET: HARVIE SAYS FUEL POVERTY FUNDING FALLS SHORT
Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said the draft 2016/17 Scottish budget published today doesn't go far enough on funding for warm homes or low carbon infrastructure in light of fuel poverty figures and the Paris climate deal.
845,000 households in Scotland are in fuel poverty. Despite agreeing that energy efficient housing should be a National Infrastructure Priority, ministers have only proposed increasing spending in this area by £14million to £103million.
Patrick Harvie, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Glasgow, said:
"The latest fuel poverty figures are a stark reminder that a transformation in our approach is required, and sadly this budget does not deliver that. It is disappointing that while ministers agree that energy efficient housing should be a National Infrastructure Priority, they are not yet committing to the scale of investment required. This will still take decades to resolve. We need Holyrood to be bolder, and Greens will continue to press the case.
"It's also a concern that just days after the global deal on climate change in Paris, this budget does not prioritise investment in low carbon infrastructure. The First Minister promised that her Government would be a strong driver of a progressive climate agenda. Today's draft budget is a world away from that. Engineering, finance and construction experts have already made clear that such investment will make our economy more resilient. Greens will continue to push for the jobs of the future.
"The decision to keep the Scottish Rate of Income Tax the same as the UK makes sense as this devolved power does not allow a more progressive approach."