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19 November 2008


Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement that the budget for tackling fuel poverty in Scotland is to be increased by 20% to £55.8 million a year. The new Energy Assistance Package will help the one million Scots officially designated as being fuel poor through increasing incomes, reducing fuel costs and improving energy efficiency.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“At a time when Banff & Buchan households face rocketing fuel bills I am delighted that the SNP Government is focused on this issue and it shows its commitment to doing all that it can, within the powers that are available, to tackle fuel poverty.

"This statement adds to our announcement of an extra £10 million of funding for the free central heating programme this year and its expansion from next year to include young families who may be at risk of fuel poverty this winter.

"Alongside today's announcement the Scottish Government is also working hard to ensure a fair share of the money for the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) is spent in Scotland. While the SNP Government is using its powers to tackle fuel poverty, the UK Government must act to support people struggling to pay their bills this winter with an extra £100 for pensioners, a VAT holiday this winter to help all households with high prices and reduced VAT on all energy efficiency measures.

"Today's announcement shows that the SNP is focused on the needs of families and the vulnerable in Banff & Buchan this winter. Will Westminster now do their part?"

Stewart Stevenson
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