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Improved fuel poverty bill welcomed

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur

Today’s formal passing of the Fuel Poverty (Scotland) Bill in parliament has been welcomed by Orkney MSP Liam McArthur.

Mr McArthur had secured support for amendments to the bill that helped address concerns that it did not properly reflect the higher costs faced by those living in rural and island areas, where levels of fuel poverty are highest.

Speaking after the final vote this afternoon, Mr McArthur said: “This bill has come a long way since it was first introduced to parliament. Initially, it failed to recognise the specific rural and island dimension to fuel poverty, reflecting the higher costs faced by those living in these communities.

“Thankfully, ministers and MSPs from across the parties accepted the case for addressing this weakness and backed my amendments.

“Changes enabling more ambitious targets to be set and requiring all local councils to play their part in achieving those targets have also been passed.

“Overall, such changes increase the chances of this bill making a difference in lifting people out of fuel poverty and extreme fuel poverty.  That will be the measure of whether or not it has been successful”.

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