The ALLIANCE has proposed greater focus on lived experience of fuel poverty in a Scottish Government consultation response.
The Scottish Government is proposing a new Warm Homes Bill, alongside extended targets to eradicate fuel poverty and a change in definition of fuel poverty.
Responding to the Scottish Government’s Consultation on a Fuel Poverty Strategy for Scotland, the ALLIANCE has proposed more emphasis be placed on collecting data related to the experiences of people living in fuel poverty in order to determine more effective approaches of preventing and supporting people out of fuel poverty.
The links between long term conditions, disability, poor health and wellbeing, and fuel poverty are well known. Cold, damp weather and housing can exacerbate existing health conditions (e.g. diabetes and musculoskeletal pain), cause and exacerbate symptoms of others (e.g. asthma) and even delay discharge from hospital.
The ALLIANCE agreed that reviewing the fuel poverty definition is a necessary and timely approach but that any definition based on income and costs also needs to take into account the additional fiscal burden often placed on people living with long term conditions and disabled people in order to live independently and participate equally in society.