Rural Stirling Left Behind by UK Tories


Categories: News

Local Politicians Condemn ‘Massive Gap’ in Support for Off-Grid Homes

The UK Government has left behind rural homes across Stirling, as Stirling MP Alyn Smith and SNP Councillor Gene Maxwell argue recently announced plans to assist with the growing cost of energy leaves rural households vulnerable – as research suggest 21% of Stirling households are in fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty is defined by the Scottish Government as any household spending more than 10% of their income on energy after housing costs. Figures from the House of Commons Library also estimate there are around 129,000 off-grid homes in Scotland reliant on home heating oil – households not connected to the UK energy grid and therefore not covered by the energy price cap or Energy Price Guarantee. 

In the past two years, the cost of home heating oil for households has increased by more than 230%, rising from £0.31 a litre to £1.05 a litre. For a home in rural Scotland, £100 would buy less than 100 litres of heating oil, which would provide just two to three weeks of heating. 

The UK Government previously announced it will offer just £100 to households across the UK who do not benefit from the Energy Price Guarantee, leading to calls from the SNP and others to increase this amount. The Chancellor’s recent statement made clear such calls had been ignored.

Alyn Smith, MP for Stirling said:

‘Scotland is an energy-rich country with more than enough energy potential to be self-sufficient – but yet again we are paying the price of Westminster failure and bearing the cost of not being an independent country. 

‘Properties across rural Stirling are reliant on heating oil to get through the colder weather. Despite promises made by the Prime Minister to support households through a difficult winter, many across Stirling will face the prospect of spiralling heating oil costs as temperatures drop. I am urging the UK Government to tackle this issue facing every constituency with a sizable rural heartland – including ones represented by many restless backbench Tories.’

Gene Maxwell, Stirling Councillor for Ward 1, Trossachs & Teith, said:

‘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% in two years. The UK Tories have already inflicted economic pain on the communities I represent through 12 years of austerity and failed economic policies. To fail to assist them through a cold winter would be a dereliction of duty of the highest order – and one people won’t soon forgive.’

Notes for editors:

1. Over two years the price of heating oil in Scotland has increased by 230.428% from

31.78p a litre to 105.01p a litre:

2. Fuel Poverty figures from Energy Action Scotland here.