SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has described the assistance for off-gas-grid homes announced by the UK Government this week as ‘wholly inadequate’.
On Wednesday (September 21), the UK Government announced it would offer a payment of £100 to households across the UK who are off gas-grid and so who will not benefit from the Energy Price Guarantee on their heating bills.
However, in the past two years, the cost of home heating oil has increased by more than 230%, rising from £0.31 a litre to £1.05 a litre on average.
For homes who rely on heating oil, like a significant proportion of Western Isles households, £100 will buy less than 100 litres of heating oil, providing just two to three weeks of heating.
Alasdair Allan said:“As anyone who uses heating oil will know, £100 is nowhere near the ‘equivalent help’ promised by the new Prime Minister in her statement to the House of Commons at the beginning of the month.
"The price of heating oil has soared over the past two years, and despite numerous calls by myself and others for better regulation, including a price cap, to be introduced on the price of heating oil, the UK Government remains unwilling to protect heating oil consumers.
“A £100 payment is wholly inadequate, and will not even come close to the help that most heating oil users need to be able to properly heat their homes this winter in the Western Isles and across Scotland. While the Tories are focusing on boosting bankers’ bonuses and giving billions in tax breaks to big businesses, they are ignoring the real needs of ordinary people.
“The UK Government must rethink this decision, and instead ensure households reliant on heating oil receive meaningful and equivalent help with their heating oil bills over the next two years, as promised. With every day that the UK Government fails to properly respond, they are demonstrating how Scotland would be better off as an independent country, with the full powers needed to secure affordable energy for all homes.”