Fuel poverty funds cut by 10%, say Scottish Labour

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil. Picture: John Devlin
Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil. Picture: John Devlin
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The Scottish Government has cut funding for fuel poverty by more than a 10th, according to Labour.

Last month, the Government committed £103 million to improve energy efficiency and tackle fuel poverty in its Draft Budget 2016/17.

In 2014, the Government committed £79m for energy efficiency in its draft budget 2015/16.

In February 2015, further pledges from John Swinney and a departmental reshuffle increased the total available budget to £119m.

However, the draft budget 2016/17 said the energy efficiency budget for the previous year was only £89m, suggesting the current £103m was an increase on the previous year.

Scottish Labour communities spokesman Ken Macintosh said the public would be “utterly baffled” by the figures.

“Given what is happening across the country following the flooding, people need help more than ever to heat their homes,” he said.

However, a spokesman for Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said: “Labour’s claims are simply untrue – the draft budget figures we published last month show an increase of £14m in the fuel poverty budget compared to the draft budget for 2015/16.”