The Scottish Government’s efforts to tackle fuel poverty have been “held back” due to “mixed messages” from Westminster.
That’s the view of Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, whose comment comes after the recent price hikes in gas and electricity prices by five of the ‘Big Six’ suppliers.
Announcing a £6 million funding to help Scottish homes cut energy bills, Nicola Sturgeon said: “We all need to work together to tackle fuel poverty. Local authorities have been extremely effective at administering these schemes and I welcome their positive approach. I hope again that they will be able to deliver maximum results with this extra money.
“But our efforts are being held back by punishing price rises imposed by energy companies. The UK Government – who has responsibility for this area – is simply not doing enough to regulate the market and this has to change urgently. With winter approaching, we need an end to mixed messages and confusion from Westminster, which frankly has done nothing to inspire confidence among worried householders.”
According to price comparison site uSwitch.com, a 7% average rise in energy bills this winter could force 314,000 more homes into fuel poverty.