Ministers must pick up the pace on making homes warm and affordable

Scottish Green MSPs are urging ministers to pick up the pace on making homes warm and affordable, warning that today’s announcement of £54.5million is funding that had already been earmarked for tackling fuel poverty as part of this year’s budget deal.

During negotiations to improve the Scottish Government’s proposed budget, Green MSPs ensured fuel poverty funding was protected in real terms, with a total of £116m allocated for 2018-19.

Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP said:

“Fuel poverty remains a national scandal, with over 600,000 households having to spend more than 10 per cent of their income keeping their homes warm and habitable. The funding allocated today was already earmarked thanks to the Green budget deal, and the efficiency targets set out remain under-ambitious.

“What percentage of homes will achieve an energy efficiency C rating by 2040 given that the government’s policy is that this can only happen where technically feasible and cost-effective? How will the government incentivise uptake of schemes to meet the targets? There’s also a concern that the onus will fall on local councils, whose resources are already stretched due to rising demand for services and historic funding cuts that are only now being repaired thanks to the last two years’ Green budget deals.

“If we’re serious about tackling fuel poverty we need ministers to pick up the pace, be bolder in their funding and ensure the basic requirement of a warm home is delivered to everyone sooner rather than later.”