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Westminster response to rural Scotland cost of living concerns

The UK Government has responded to a Committee report on the impact of cost of living in rural Scotland.

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Last year the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee held an inquiry into the impact of cost of living on rural communities in Scotland. The Committee looked at a range of issues including transport, food insecurity and poverty, as well as the impact of rising energy costs.

The Committee found that UK Government support during the energy crisis was not sufficiently ‘rural-proofed’ and failed to account for the additional energy costs facing rural communities. The Committee further noted the challenges of retrofitting and insulating homes in rural areas – in terms of cost, time, and practicalities – and concluded that overcoming these barriers would be a key to reducing the rural premium facing Scottish consumers.

SFHA has long argued for greater action in this area and we are pleased to see that the UK Government has recognised that remoteness can be a particular factor and challenge for Scottish households. However, much more needs to be done and we will continue to call for both the UK and Scottish Governments to use their powers to tackle fuel poverty, support the roll-out of retrofit measures, and introduce energy reforms – such as the delivery of a social tariff – to protect households and tenants from volatile energy costs.

Further details of the Westminster inquiry can be found at: Cost of living: impact on rural communities in Scotland - Committees - UK Parliament

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