A new strategy to tackle fuel poverty in Scotland has been backed by MSPs despite concerns the plans “lack ambition”. The Scottish Parliament supported in principle proposals to try and reduce the number of households in fuel poverty to 5 per cent by 2040. Introducing the Bill at its first stage, housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “In this day and age it’s unacceptable that any Scottish household should have to make a choice between putting the heating on and cooking their dinner. “If Scotland is to become a fairer, more socially-just society, it’s crucial that we make a real headway towards ending the scourge of fuel poverty.” A household is considered to be fuel poor if in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime, it has to spend more than 10 per cent of its income on all household fuel use. However, Mr Stewart revealed the Scottish Government wants to introduce a new definition of fuel poverty “which makes innovative use of the minimum income standard in order to better-align fuel poverty with relative-income poverty”. He also proposed the Government reports every five years on the policy’s progress, although convener of the local government and communities committee James Dornan argued for this to happen every three years.
Scotsman 21st Feb 2019 read more »