Scottish Liberal Candidate for Shetland Beatrice Wishart has today said that eradicating fuel poverty completely is essential in Shetland’s recovery from COVID.
The comments come after it was recently shown that over one in five households (22%) in Shetland are classed as being in extreme fuel poverty. This figure is joint second worst across the whole of Scotland. It was also revealed that Shetland has over three times the national average of homes which are deemed to be of the least energy efficient dwellings.
Proposals announced by the party include to declare home insulation a national strategic priority, double fuel poverty budgets and increase incentives for all homes. It's 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.
Under SNP plans, 1 in 20 people will still be living in fuel poverty by 2040. Additionally, the much anticipated fuel poverty strategy publication has been on ice for over a year despite other projects progressing.
Commenting Ms Wishart said:
“Eradicating fuel poverty completely is a goal that the next Government must commit to. Leaving anyone having to decide between heating and eating is a failure. I have recently helped people over the last year on high electricity costs and know that some people are having to make that choice.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats want to establish catch-up zones for communities like Shetland, where cost of living is up to 60% higher than the UK average, so that we are at the front of the line when it comes to warm home upgrade schemes. Targeting funding like this is the best way to tackle the problem for those most in need.
“We have seen how long and cold winters can be in Shetland and if re-elected I will make sure there is a needle-sharp focus with our recovery on tackling fuel poverty so people in Shetland are not choosing between a warm home or a warm meal.”