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Concern over lack of assistance for rural homes in energy plans

By Kyle Ritchie

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Gordon MP Richard Thomson has accused the Westminster Government of "abandoning rural Scotland" by failing to announce any meaningful support for rural homes as part of their energy plans.

The UK Government announced this week 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 per cent, rising from £0.31 a litre to £1.05 a litre on average.

For homes who rely on heating oil, like a significant number of north-east households, £100 will buy less than 100 litres of heating oil, providing just two to three weeks of heating.

Recent figures from the House of Commons Library show there are around 129,000 off-grid homes in Scotland dependent on home heating oil.

Mr Thomson said: "The Conservative Government have completely abandoned rural Scotland throughout the cost-of-living crisis.

"This latest snub is an insult to families in rural communities across the north-east - and it's another gaping hole in the UK Government's botched energy plan.

Gordon MP Richard Thomson.
Gordon MP Richard Thomson.

"The cost of heating rural homes is much higher than other parts of the country - with the price of heating oil soaring by over 230 per cent in two years.

"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.

"It seems the Westminster Government is so focused on boosting bankers' bonuses and giving billions in tax breaks to big businesses and the rich, they have forgotten about ordinary families.

"The UK Government must re-think 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 they fail to act, they are demonstrating Scotland would be better off running its own affairs with the full powers needed to secure our energy supply for all homes."

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