Ending fuel poverty and more – what happened in Holyrood last week

Holyrood passes SNP bill to end fuel poverty in Scotland

Last week, MSPs unanimously passed the SNP’s world-leading Fuel Poverty Bill.

Under the plans no more than 5% of households in Scotland will be in fuel poverty by 2040 – ensuring families who struggle to heat their homes are given the right support.

By the end of 2021 the SNP Government will have invested over £1 billion to tackle fuel poverty and improve the energy efficiency of Scottish houses.

This bill is designed to work for everyone regardless of where in Scotland they live. Scotland is now among only a handful of European nations to have legally defined fuel poverty – linking the definition to household incomes and the higher cost of living in rural and island areas.

SNP on track to meet affordable housing target

The SNP Government is on-track to meet its target of delivering 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021 – backed by £3.3 billion of funding.

The SNP has made the delivery of new homes a priority since being elected to office in 2007, having delivered almost 90,000 affordable homes since we entered office.

Labour and the Lib Dems have embarrassingly little to show for their time in office, and with the Tories presiding over a chronic housing shortage in England – it’s clear that only the SNP is taking decisive action to deliver more houses for people in Scotland.

Clear majority want referendum made in Scotland

A clear majority of Scots want a future independence referendum “made in Scotland” – with decisions over timing and question to be determined by the Scottish Government.

A new poll by Survation, commissioned by Progress Scotland, found that 58% believe the Scottish Government should decide whether there should be an independence referendum.

People in Scotland deserve the opportunity to determine our future. It would be a democratic outrage for the Tories to try and stand in the way of democracy – and, as this poll shows, people in Scotland won’t stand for it.

Call for Tories to reverse TV license decision

Around 60% of over-75s in Scotland will be hit by the UK Tory government’s decision to scrap the free the TV licence – forcing households to pay an extra £154.50 when the policy is axed.

Scottish Government minister for older people, Christina McKelvie MSP, has written to the UK government to urgently stop this swindle and ensure that the TV license for over-75s is be properly funded and protected.

A decade of damaging Tory government cuts has left older people in Scotland worse off – it’s time this Tory government finally made the welfare of our older population a priority.

Tory MSP admits immigration plans will damage Scotland

The SNP has demanded the Tories deliver a flexible immigration system in Scotland, after a Tory MSP admitted that UK government plans would present “real difficulties” for the economy.

Scotland needs the ability to grow our population – and if the Tories really agree with that, it’s time they got on with giving us the powers to do so.

But the reality is Ruth Davidson backs a hard Brexit, wants to end freedom of movement, and backs the hardliner Sajid Javid for Prime Minister.

Scotland must be given the choice of a different future, one in which we are not dictated to by governments we don’t vote for.

First step towards Citizens’ Assemblies

The process of establishing the new Citizens’ Assembly to explore some of the major challenges facing Scotland has started.

120 members of the public will be randomly selected to serve on the Assembly, and will be broadly representative of Scotland’s adult population in terms of age, gender, socio-economic class, ethnic group, geography and political attitudes.

This is the first time a Citizens’ Assembly has been used in Scotland and will bring together a wide range of ordinary people from across our country in a genuine attempt to reach consensus on the issues that we face.

This bold step is one that everyone, whatever their political view, can embrace.