Energy Efficiency Measures (Funding)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 6th October 2022.

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Photo of Liam Kerr Liam Kerr Conservative

It was reported last weekend that the Scottish Government intends in its capital spending review to cut 14 per cent—that is, over £17 million—from the funding for energy efficiency measures for those in fuel poverty. Of course it is right that we focus on immediate measures to help families through the cost of living crisis, but investment in efficiency upgrades will reduce their heating bills and energy use in the long run.

The Scottish Government declined to confirm or deny those cuts. Will the First Minister confirm whether the cuts will go ahead as set out?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

We have an emergency budget review under way right now. The Deputy First Minister will report the outcome of that to the Parliament following the recess. I wish that we were not having to undertake that emergency budget review. We have to do it because of the actions of the United Kingdom Conservative Government.

In effect, we have a fixed budget. We have very limited powers to borrow. Therefore, given that our budget is being eroded by soaring inflation and that we are facing even more cuts coming down the track from Westminster, we have to contemplate some very difficult decisions. We will take those decisions, through applying our values, and seek to protect those who need our protection most.

If Tory members do not want us to have to face some of those choices—and I wish that we did not have to face them—perhaps, instead of kowtowing to their masters in London over tax cuts to the rich, they could start standing up for Scotland and demanding fair budget treatment for this Parliament.