MacAskill Slams Sunak's Refusal to Support Off Grid Gas Households as “Kick in the Teeth for the North East and Rural and Poorer Households”
ALBA Depute Leader and MP for East Lothian Kenny MacAskill MP reacted today to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s refusal at Prime Minister’s Questions to uprate the pitiful £200 payment for households, off the gas grid, that are reliant on alternative energy sources, such as heating oil, as their sole or main source of domestic heating. He has also condemned the failure to extend the alternative fuel payment to households, also off the gas grid, who are wholly reliant on inefficient and costly electric heating systems such as those who live in high rise flats.
In a statement Kenny MacAskill MP said:
“The pitiful and miserly £200 alternative fuel payment is utterly inadequate to deal with the dramatic rise in fuels such as heating oil on which households off the gas grid are dependent for heating their homes.
“With half a million households in Scotland off the gas grid the refusal to uprate the amount of the alternative fuel payment is a kick in the teeth, especially to the North East of Scotland and all those in rural and low income households who are off the gas grid.
“Not only are off grid households not covered by the energy price cap which sets a limit on the maximum amounts which can be charged for gas and electricity but they are inadequately compensated, through the alternative fuel payment, for the massive price hike in alternative fuels, such as heating oil.
“In addition the Prime Minister’s refusal to extend the Alternative Fuel Payment to households, many of whom live in high rise flats in urban deprived areas, who are wholly reliant on inefficient and costly electric heating systems, condemns tens of thousands of households into fuel poverty.
“I will continue to press the UK Government, along with fuel poverty campaigners like Energy Action Scotland, to regulate in this area and to extend the Alternative Fuel Payment to those households dependent on all electric heating.
“If ever there was an argument for Independence then the scandal of fuel-poor Scots, off the gas grid, in a land replete with energy resources makes that case loud and clear.”