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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Drew Hendry Says Social Tariff Will be Game-Changing for Those Worst Impacted by Fuel Poverty

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Drew Hendry, SNP Candidate for Inverness, Skye and West Ross-Shire is supporting SNP calls for a ‘social tariff’ that would see people on low incomes, the elderly and disabled pay less on energy bills, claiming it would be a game-changer for those impacted by fuel poverty.

Mr Hendry said the policy would give people “ tangible support and peace of mind” about energy costs, which have soared in recent years.

The proposal would be funded by a mixture of general taxation and “top slicing” the profits of energy companies, which the SNP claim would be about £7.8bn for the current year.

Mr Hendry said:

“It is those most vulnerable who are paying the price for soaring energy costs.

“Those on low incomes, elderly folk and those with disabilities need tangible support when it comes to soaring energy costs.

“Introducing a social tariff to reduce their costs would help give folk peace of mind and would go some way in reducing the ever-increasing levels of fuel poverty we are seeing, particularly here in the Highlands.

“This policy will be game-changing for those suffering the impacts of fuel poverty.”

The social tariff would also cover broadband and mobile charges, action that has been described by First Minister, John Swinney, as ‘reflecting the realities of the modern world’.

Proposals for a social tariff come, after ongoing calls from Mr Hendry for a “Highland Energy Rebate”, which seeks to address the “disproportionate” energy costs faced by those living in the Highlands & Islands.

The Highland Energy Rebate campaign aims to create a rebate scheme for residents across the Highlands & Islands who contribute significantly to the UK’s renewable energy production, particularly for those in off-grid areas who cannot access cheaper energy alternatives.

Commenting, Mr Hendry said:

“People living in the Highlands, pay 50% more for their electricity standing charges despite living in an area that generates 4x the electricity, through renewable sources, that we need to use ourselves.

“We have some of the highest levels of fuel poverty across the UK, in part due to our colder climate and increased energy needs.

“Folk across the Highlands should not be worse off due to decisions taken in Westminster.

“They deserve a fairer deal, and that’s what the Highland Energy Rebate aims to do.”

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