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One-third of Scottish households now suffering from fuel poverty - 27th May 2015

Fuel Poverty

Research has found that currently one in three Scottish households are now suffering from fuel poverty.

The Big Energy Switch campaign studied more than 11,000 people finding that 32% of people meet the fuel poverty criteria with 18% of these described as being in extreme or severe fuel poverty. These high fuel poverty rates can be attributed to increases in energy prices rising four times faster than income since 2003.

A household is defined as in being in fuel poverty if more than 10% of the households income is spent on energy. The increase in household energy prices is placing a huge strain on household budgets in Scotland.

The SNP believe that to combat fuel poverty the central government should be funding the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) rather than hard-pressed households. The ECO programme is being put to good use in providing energy efficiency measures to households however rises in household energy bills are funding the ECO programme thereby exacerbating the fuel poverty problem.

A £20 million investment increase in fuel poverty measures is a welcome step however it is still far short of what is really required according to MSP Harvie. The UK must increase efforts to eradicate the issue of fuel poverty.

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