Call for energy efficiency to be accelerated in Draft Budget
WWF Scotland has urged the Scottish Government to increase its fuel poverty spending after three Holyrood committees challenged its plans.
Following news that the Scottish Government is planning to reduce overall spending on fuel poverty/energy efficiency in 2016/17 by 13 per cent, compared to the total that the Scottish Government plans to spend during the current financial year, three cross-party committees of the Scottish Parliament have questioned its plans for improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes.
The economy energy and tourism committee’s Report on the Draft Budget 2016/17 said: “It is now abundantly clear that the deadline for the statutory target of ending fuel poverty ‘so far as reasonably practicable’ by November 2016 is not going to be met. Not only is it not going to be met, it is not going to be met (in the words of Energy Action Scotland) ‘by some considerable way’.”
The Report on the Draft Budget 2016/17 by the infrastructure and capital investment committee added: “The committee nevertheless believes that this work should be accelerated given the established benefits of energy efficiency for existing homes in tackling climate change, promoting energy efficiency and cutting fuel poverty.”
Finally the finance committee’s Report on the Draft Budget 2016/17 said: “The committee supported calls from the EET committee in its report on last year‘s Draft Budget for a full cost analysis of what it will take to achieve the statutory target… This has not been provided and the EET committee has reiterated the need for such an analysis. The committee agrees with this recommendation and asks the Scottish Government to explain why it has not been provided.”
As MSPs prepare to debate the Draft Budget today, WWF Scotland maintains increasing funding for energy efficiency programmes is one of the clearest ways to better embed climate change in this Budget, whilst also helping to tackle fuel poverty and create jobs.
Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, said: “If the Scottish Government’s to live up to its promise of embedding climate change in this budget, it will need to seriously re-think it’s planned cuts. These Holyrood committee reports point the way by demonstrating investment in energy efficiency is an important way of cutting climate emissions, creating jobs and helping tackle fuel poverty.”