20 Aug 2012
A green council tax discount scheme which was supposed to encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient has had barely any take-up since it launched three years ago.
The Scottish Government agreed in 2009 to introduce the initiative, which would allow householders to claim a council tax rebate if insulation was installed in their homes.
The move, suggested by the Scottish Conservatives as part of the Climate Change Bill, was supposed to reduce carbon emissions and reduce people’s household bills.
But figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have shown only 826 homes have taken up the Scotland-wide offer, resulting in rebates of less than £50,000.
That is despite the Scottish Parliament’s own Climate Change Act stating ministers should be updated regularly on how the scheme is progressing.
Some local authorities in Scotland did not receive a single application.
The Scottish Conservatives are now calling on the SNP to do more to promote the scheme, which brings significant practical and financial benefits to those who take part.
Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown MSP said:
“The Scottish Government is extremely ineffective when it comes down to delivery on climate change.
“The concept of a green council tax discount, as championed by the Scottish Conservatives, is a good one, but the Scottish Government has clearly not kept track of the scheme and done precious little to promote it.
“The number of households that have been granted a green council tax discount is truly pathetic.
“The Scottish Government needs to explain why the results are so poor and tell us what action they intend to take to get the scheme back on track.
“The Scottish Parliament passed world-leading climate change legislation but the SNP Government has failed to deliver on the ground.
“Earlier this summer it emerged that they missed their climate change targets and they blamed…the climate.
“Now it turns out they have failed to champion the Green Council Tax discount, and it makes you wonder where else they have failed to match words with deeds.”