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Housing Energy Efficiency

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:12 am on 30th March 2000.

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Photo of Frank McAveety Frank McAveety Labour 11:12 am, 30th March 2000

I will conclude this point and then let Fiona in.

The budget for the year now ending is £10.25 million and will increase to £13 million next year and £14.5 million the year after that. That is a budget of almost £40 million over three years. That key commitment is far more substantial than any previous commitment.

The key difference with the warm deal in Scotland is that it is connected to the social inclusion agenda, allowing us to find employment opportunities for young people on the new deal. A total of 400 places are now available each year for young people taking part in the new deal. We hope that those people will then move into full-time employment. Much of the record indicates that that is the case.

The warm deal is an attempt to deal with fuel poverty. The 1996 figures show that more than half a million Scottish households spend 10 per cent or more of their income on keeping warm. Where I agree with Robin Harper—and presumably with Fiona Hyslop—is that that is a challenge to each and every one of us.