Boiler Scrappage Scheme

Scottish Executive Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 15th April 2010.

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Photo of Karen Whitefield Karen Whitefield Labour 2:15 pm, 15th April 2010

To ask the Scottish Executive on what date it expects to publish details of a boiler scrappage scheme. (S3O-10099)

Photo of Jim Mather Jim Mather Scottish National Party

The exact details of the scheme, including the launch date and delivery mechanism, are being developed and will be published soon.

We are already supporting the replacement of inefficient boilers. Since the launch of our energy saving Scotland home loans pathfinder scheme last October, we have offered interest-free loans worth nearly £390,000 for the replacement of G-rated boilers with efficient models. In addition, our energy assistance package has supported the installation or upgrading of 7,271 central heating systems—including boilers—up to the end of February 2010, and a range of other energy efficiency measures for fuel-poor households.

Photo of Karen Whitefield Karen Whitefield Labour

I am grateful to the minister for his answer, but I hope that he will not be too surprised to learn that I take his assurance of "soon" with a pinch of salt; the Government uses that terminology for many of its promises. As was discussed in the previous question, the Scottish Futures Trust has been coming "soon" for quite some time, and it still has not put a brick down in any part of the country.

Since January, 150,000 households south of the border have been eligible for assistance to replace old band G boilers. Will the minister tell members when exactly "soon" will be? When will the first household in Scotland benefit from the Scottish Government's scheme? Can he guarantee that the Scottish scheme will be of equal value to the scheme that is already operating in other parts of the United Kingdom?

Photo of Jim Mather Jim Mather Scottish National Party

Karen Whitefield should take it from me that "soon" means what it says. We will use the full £2 million of consequentials from the UK Government for the boiler scrappage scheme, and the member should recognise "soon" when it comes with such a positive message.

We have had so much that is unacceptable from the Westminster Government, in the shape of cuts, the fossil fuel levy that we have just heard about and the failure to give us proper Barnett consequentials in many areas. That is in addition to the overall mismanagement of the economy that has put us in the parlous state in which we find ourselves just now.