Response to Scottish Government Budget Bill 2014/15
EXHA disappointed in lack of funds to end fuel poverty and tackle climate change.
The Scottish Government Draft Budget Bill published on 17th January contained no changes to the recent spending review commitments to tackle climate change or fuel poverty.
While ExHA recognises the adoption of area-based schemes, moves towards the introduction of minimum standards for homes and the wider context of public spending cuts, it is clear that current levels of spending are not sufficient to ensure the Scottish Government meets its statutory climate change and fuel poverty targets. The Minister for Environment and Climate Change recently talked of renewed efforts in relation to policies and funding for climate change and ExHA is disappointed that this hasn’t translated into any changes to Scotland’s budget.
ExHA estimates that at least £125 million per year is required from the Scottish Government Budget alongside Energy Company Obligations (ECO). However, as figures concerning the actual incidence of fuel poverty and the current overall spend on it are ambiguous, greater clarity is needed in order to properly assess what the overall commitment should be. It is clear though that as ECO is now under serious threat it is likely that the share from the Scottish Budget will need to increase accordingly.
With only £79m available for this year the ongoing shortfall makes it even more important that other policy initiatives such as minimum standards for homes are introduced at the earliest opportunity.
See the Alliance press release: ExHA PR on draft budget september 2013
Previous briefing papers
The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee of the Scottish Parliament recently considered the Draft Budget for 2014/15. ExHA has raised its members’ concerns that fuel poverty and climate change targets require greater attention and funding levels, see our full response to the ICI Committee: exha response to ICI on budget OCt 2013 final
The Finance Committee’s call for evidence ended in August. Please see ExHA’s response to the Finance Committee: exha response to finance committee on draft budget