Call for Evidence on the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill

Gas ring

The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee is looking for your views on the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill to inform its scrutiny.

The call for views is open from today, Monday 17 September, until Friday 9 November.

What does the Bill propose to do?

The Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill was introduced into Parliament by the Scottish Government on 26 June 2018. The Scottish Government explains that the Bill will set a target relating to the eradication of fuel poverty; define fuel poverty; require the production of a fuel poverty strategy; and creates a duty for the Scottish Government to report on fuel poverty.

The Scottish Government has also published an easy read guide to the Bill and a Q & A.

Other relevant documents, such as the Policy Memorandum and Financial Memorandum, are available on the Bill page here:

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/108916.aspx

A draft Fuel Poverty Strategy for Scotland 2018 was published alongside the Bill, setting out how the Scottish Government intends to drive progress towards meeting the targets in the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill. Read the Strategy here:

https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/06/2306

How to submit your views

The Committee welcomes views from stakeholders in relation to any relevant matters raised in the Bill.

Should you find it helpful to structure written submissions around the key Sections of the Bill and their main purpose, the summary below and suggested questions may be helpful. However, please do not treat these questions as prescriptive:

Section 1 sets out the Scottish Government’s target to reduce fuel poverty to no more than 5 per cent of Scottish Households by 2040.

1.   Do you agree with the Scottish Government’s proposal to provide for a statutory target to reduce fuel poverty to no more than 5 per cent of Scottish Households by 2040.

Please explain your reason why. For example, is the statutory target necessary? Is the target ambitious enough? Is it realistic and achievable?

Section 2 makes provision for a proposed definition of fuel poverty which calculates the proportion of household income required to maintain a satisfactory level of heating and assesses the extent to which households can then maintain an “acceptable standard of living” once housing and fuel costs are deducted.

2.   Do you agree with the Scottish Government’s proposals for a revised definition of fuel poverty?

Please explain your reasons why. For example, will the new definition ensure that the Scottish Government will focus their efforts on those with the greatest need?

Sections 3-5 requires the Scottish Government to publish a fuel poverty strategy within a year of Section 3 of the Bill coming into force. It requires them to consult on the strategy, which must include individuals who are living, or have lived, in fuel poverty.

3.   Do you agree with provisions in the Bill requiring the Scottish Government to publish a fuel poverty strategy? Do you also agree with the consultation requirements set out in relation to the strategy?

Please explain your reasons why.

4.   A draft fuel poverty strategy was published alongside the Bill on 27 June. Do you have any views on the extent to which the measures set out in the draft Fuel Poverty Strategy for Scotland 2018 will contribute to meeting the Government’s new target? Have lessons been learned from previous initiatives?

Sections 6-9 require the Scottish Government to report to Parliament every five years on: the measures taken to tackle fuel poverty over the previous five years; progress made towards the 2040 target; and the steps Scottish Ministers propose to take over the next five years to meet the 2040 target.

5.   Do you have any views on the Scottish Government’s reporting requirements to the Scottish Parliament, as set out in the Bill?

The call for written views will close on Friday 9 November 2018.

Before making a submission, please read our privacy notice here about submitting your views to a Committee. If you are under 12 years old, please refer to the privacy notice here. These tell you about how we process your personal data.

Please use the template provided to format your submission. This includes the Data Protection Form. Fill this out and return it with your submission. If you are under twelve years of age we will need the consent of your parent or guardian. Please use this form.

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language. Due to the time required to process and analyse evidence, late submissions will only be accepted with the agreement of the Committee.

Written responses should be sent electronically, in the above template format to the following address. Ideally they should be no more than four sides of A4.

LocalGovernmentandCommunities@parliament.scot

If you cannot submit electronically you may send in a hard copy written submission. If you are sending in a hard copy submission please print off and include a copy of the Data Protection Form.  Please send them to:

Local Government and Communities Committee Clerk
T3.60
Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh
EH99 1SP

If you have any further questions regarding the Committee’s scrutiny of this BIll, please contact the Committee clerking team at the above e-mail address or call 0131 348 6037.

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