Posted by Kenny MacAskill, March 15
Reacting to the Budget today ALBA Depute Leader and fair energy prices campaigner Kenny MacAskill MP said:
The North East of Scotland, which is best placed to deliver carbon capture and storage, has been snubbed yet again.
Scottish families are set to freeze this winter while the energy companies rake in record profits. This Budget confirms that the Treasury are raking in billions in tax revenues from North Sea oil and gas, something ALBA had warned Scots of after the Chancellor announced in the autumn that £65 billion would be seized over eight years, enough to generate an annual windfall of £5,000 for every household in Scotland.
While the abolition of higher standing charges for Pre-Payment Meter customers is long overdue, and will bring standing charges into line with other customers, it is vital that the Chancellor goes further and introduces a social tariff so that the poorest families do not continue to be penalised for being poor.
No action for households beyond June to mitigate the impact of skyrocketing fuel bills will see more families plunged into fuel poverty and higher excess winter deaths.
No action for the half a million households in Scotland off the gas grid who rely on unregulated fuels such as heating oil as their sole or main source of domestic heating. The pitiful Alternative Fuel Payment of £200 is totally inadequate to compensate those households who are not covered by the energy price cap and excludes those households, in high rise flats in urban deprived areas, who are wholly reliant on inefficient and costly electric heating systems.
Pension tax breaks for the well-off and zero action to address the financial loss experienced by WASPI women affected by the increase in the state pension age.
Fuel poverty amidst energy plenty is the price of this unequal Union. Only with Independence can Scotland have control of our massive energy resources and provide affordable energy for all of our people.