THE delaying of the Warm Homes programme until April 2024 is “unforgiveable” Plaid Cymru has said.
First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed this week (Tuesday 28 November) that the Welsh Govenrment energy efficiency scheme would not be up and running until the next financial year (April 2024) – well beyond its scheduled date of November 2023.
The Warm Homes programme funds energy efficiency improvements to eligible households and was designed to help tackle fuel poverty.
98% of households on lower incomes in Wales were predicted to be in fuel poverty following the price cap increase of April 2022.
Plaid Cymru spokesperson for social justice and equalities, Sioned Williams MS said it was “unforgiveable” that the Labour govenrment had not mobilised its Warm Homes programme, despite repeated assurances that this would be in place before the end of November.
Ms Williams accused the Labour administration of “dragging its feet” while people living in the least fuel-efficient homes had been “left out in the cold”.
In a separate letter to Plaid Cymru Climate Change spokesperson Delyth Jewell MS, Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said the Welsh Government were currently procuring for the scheme.
Plaid Cymru spokesperson for social justice and equalities, Sioned Williams MS said:
“When it comes to tackling fuel poverty, we’re talking about helping those in extreme poverty – those who cannot afford to keep their home warm during the coldest months.
“It’s unforgiveable that, as a cold snap creeps across the UK, the government has still not mobilised its Warm Homes programme, despite repeated assurances that this would be in place before the end of November. Not only is this a year later than originally promised, but there are also now concerns that this could be delayed until spring 2024.
“What’s worse is that the Warm Homes programme has already been budgeted for – this isn’t a matter of finding the cash, it’s the government dragging its feet while those who are in severe fuel poverty, living in the poorest households and residing in the least fuel-efficient homes, are left out in the cold.”
“The Labour Welsh Government must implement the new Warm Homes Programme with urgency to support low income households in making their homes more energy efficient this winter.