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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-20128: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 22 November 2018

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) older people's and (b) rural households would no longer be classified as being in fuel poverty under the proposed change to the definition of that term in the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 7 December 2018

The Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA) for the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill, estimated that in 2016 approximately 137,000 fewer older households and 55,000 fewer rural households, would have been categorised as fuel poor under the proposed new definition.

This is as a result of the inclusion of an income threshold in the new definition in line with the recommendations of the independent, academic Scottish Fuel Poverty Review Panel. This aligns fuel poverty more closely with low income households, as can be seen in the graphic (BIB No. 60298) available from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre. However the threshold applied in the new definition is considerably higher, for most household types, than the standard 60% of median income (after housing costs) used to define relative income poverty. This ensures households above the income poverty line, that are struggling with their fuel bills, will still be captured in the definition.