Household energy debt in Scotland is a scandal at the hands of Westminster

Households in energy rich Scotland that are finding themselves in energy debt is a scandal. Families and workers are suffering in energy-rich Scotland because of decades of mismanagment at the hands of Westminster.

Scotland has an abundance of energy that could support every household in Scotland, yet because of the economic mismanagement of Westminster some households are finding themselves fuel poor.

Westminster’s failed energy gird system means that Scottish energy companies currently have to pay ten times more than what English companies have to pay to connect to the national energy grid.

Not only does the disproportionate charges for energy companies connecting to the grid in Scotland in comparison to England affect the cost of energy for people in Scotland, it affects business growth too.

New analysis from the Warm This Winter campaign showed almost 1 in 5 households who are currently in energy debt are being forced to turn to illegal money lending.

The analysis also showed that among younger households, a quarter of those in debt who are under 35 have turned to illegal money lending, and one third of those aged between 35 and 44 have also have been forced into using illegal loan sharks.

This is a scandal and the people of Scotland deserve better.

The soaring cost of living made in Westminster and characterised by skyrocketing fuel and unjustly inflated food prices, has led to increased hardship among families and workers alike.

Successive UK governments have exploited Scotland’s vast energy resources to bolster UK finances – it’s high-time they took responsibility and worked with the Scottish Government to capitalise on the massive opportunity Scotland has in renewable energy.

We know Scotland is energy-rich and by delivering on that renewables potential, we can ensure cheaper bills for Scottish households. That’s why the SNP will always stand up and demand of any future Westminster government that they either act to deliver on the benefits of Scotland’s energy riches or they devolve the powers to the Scottish Parliament.

However, Scotland will only be able to realise the full potential and benefit of our energy resources with the full powers of a normal, independent country. With these power, and independent energy-rich Scotland could eradicate energy debt for good.

After all, we have the energy – we just need the power.