Wishart condemns lack of government support for off-grid homes in rural Scotland
Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, has condemned the Conservative UK Government for failing to include any offer of support for off-grid homes with their energy bills in their latest financial statement. Figures from the House of Commons Library estimate there are around 129,000 off-grid homes in Scotland reliant on home heating oil - households not connected to the UK energy grid and therefore not covered by the energy price cap or Energy Price Guarantee.
In the past two years, the cost of home heating oil for households has increased by more than 230%, rising from £0.31 a litre to £1.05 a litre. For a home in rural Scotland, £100 would buy less than 100 litres of heating oil, which would provide just two to three weeks of heating.
The UK government previously announced it will offer just £100 in total to households across the UK who do not benefit from the Energy Price Guarantee, leading to calls from the SNP and others to increase this amount. The Chancellor's statement today made clear that call had been ignored.
Commenting, Mr Wishart said:
“Rural households in my constituency have been failed yet again by the Conservative UK government. They are now so out of touch from Scotland’s needs that in their latest financial statement they failed to even mention the astronomical rise in cost of home heating oil. This is despite there being approximately 130,000 off-grid homes in Scotland which are reliant on this form of heating.
"It is absurd that this is the reality in a country like Scotland, where there is an abundance of natural and renewable energy resources at our disposal.
"While the Tories are focused on boosting bankers' bonuses, and giving billions in tax breaks to big businesses and the rich, yet again they have disregarded the needs of ordinary households in Scotland.
"I am calling for the UK government to snap out of their London-centric daydream and listen to the pleas of rural households. The longer they keep their head in the sand, the more they are showing the people of Scotland that we would be far better off without their policies being inflicted upon us.”