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McArthur: fuel poverty is a national embarrassment

Liam McArthur MSP

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has today described fuel poverty in Scotland as a “national embarrassment” as new figures show levels continuing to rise across the country.

Official figures, published as part of the Scottish House Condition Survey, revealed that Mr McArthur’s own constituency here in Orkney remains worst affected, with two-thirds of island households deemed “fuel poor”. Meanwhile, the local authorities where fuel poverty was highest were all in rural Scotland.

The publication comes after the Scottish Government’s consultation on Fuel Poverty Strategy closed this month.

Commenting on the figures, Mr McArthur said: “Levels of fuel poverty in Scotland are a national embarrassment. These latest figures serve as yet another reminder that urgent action is needed, not least in Orkney, which remains the worst affected.

“Ministers must accept that there is a specific rural dimension to fuel poverty. Islands and rural communities will require a tailored approach to tackling this scourge, with a definition that takes proper account of higher living costs and other factors. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it.

“There is not a community in the country that is not affected by fuel poverty. That is why so much is riding on the Scottish Government coming forward with an ambitious and wide-ranging Warm Homes bill. That is also why we need to see an end to the delays in bringing this forward.”

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