Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, said:
“For one of the world’s more wealthy countries like Scotland to now have more than one third of its households – 770,000 – living in fuel poverty or extreme fuel poverty brings shame on our nation.
“If this trend continues – a rise of 8% on last year’s figure – the Scottish Government is never going to hit its target of eradicating fuel poverty and certainly has no hope of meeting the 2016 pledge.
“The Scottish Government can make a difference by prioritising the building of new energy efficient housing and raising the standard of existing housing stock.
“It is clear we cannot carry on with this chronic situation where, once again, the most vulnerable people in our society are suffering cold and damp or hunger because they have to make choices over how they spend their income.
“And against the back drop of public sector job cuts and housing benefits cuts, it is likely that more and more people will be pushed into fuel poverty and face the stark choice of eating or heating.”
Notes to Editors:
1. Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity. Shelter Scotland believes that everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
2. Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.
3. For more information about Shelter Scotland visit www.shelter.org.uk
4. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterinscotland
Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland
Contact: Neil Baldwin, Nicola Baxter
Phone: 0844 515 2442