West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has demanded urgent action from the UK government to tackle rising energy costs, as new figures show that more than 40 per cent of local households could be facing fuel poverty from April.
Figures released by the Energy Action Scotland charity show that 41 per cent of people living in West Dunbartonshire will soon be spending more than 10 per cent of their income on energy – the official definition of fuel poverty.
The Scottish Government projects that a further 211,000 households across Scotland face being pushed into fuel poverty as a result of the UK’s cost-of-living crisis which will see gas and electricity prices more than double from the start of next month.
Local SNP MP Docherty-Hughes is urging the Chancellor to use the upcoming Spring Budget statement to deliver a comprehensive package of support for struggling households.
The SNP is pressuring the UK government to rethink its much-criticised £200 energy loan scheme, and instead deliver a more generous grant for those hit hardest by spiralling energy bills. The Chancellor has also been challenged to match the SNP’s Scottish Child Payment, reverse the £20 weekly cut to Universal Credit, and implement a Real Living Wage of at least £9.90 an hour.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“At my advice surgeries I’m hearing from more and more constituents worried about the rise in their energy bills due to hit from April.
“It’s sobering to see figures showing that over 40 per cent of households in areas like West Dunbartonshire are facing fuel poverty due to the soaring costs of gas and electricity.
“The UK’s cost-of-living crisis is quickly turning into an emergency. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine expected to further drive up the price of food, petrol, and energy – it’s vital the UK government acts now to avoid a catastrophe of rising poverty.
“Scotland is an energy-rich country, yet under this Westminster government many in our communities are facing difficult choices between heating and eating.
“The Tories cannot be allowed to place the burden of this crisis on those who can least afford it. We in the SNP are calling on the Chancellor to use the upcoming Spring Budget statement to urgently deliver a comprehensive package of support for struggling households.”