The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for an investigation into successive failed insulation schemes by the Welsh Government.
Today in the Senedd, during a debate on the Equality and Social Justice Committee report’s on Fuel poverty and the Warm Homes Programme, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS who sits on the ESJ committee called for an investigation into successive failed home insulation schemes by the Welsh Labour Government.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS.
During the debate Jane Dodds accused the Welsh Government schemes of leaving Welsh households extremely vulnerable to the energy crisis, being poorly targeted and too slow to be rolled out.
Previous research by the Welsh Liberal Democrats has shown that the current Nest insulation scheme is being rolled out so slowly it could take up to 135 years to insulate every fuel poverty stricken home in Wales.
The research also shows that almost half of those who received support through the Programme last year were deemed to not be in fuel poverty –and that figure was more than 60% in the previous year, suggesting the scheme is being poorly targeted.
Estimates released by the Welsh Government earlier this year predict that over 45% of households in Wales could now be living in fuel poverty.
Despite having committed to eradicating fuel poverty in 2003, rates in Wales have remained stubbornly high.
The report released from the Auditor General reviewed by the ESJ stated that the predecessor insulation scheme to Nest, Arbed was hampered by “gaps, and inaccuracies in management information and a lack of ongoing contract monitoring and compliance”.
The Auditor General’s report also highlighted the decommissioning of £7.5 million of European Structural Funds because Arbed was unable to spend its budget, and Nest didn’t have the capacity to increase delivery.
Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:
“The failure of the Welsh Government’s £400 million , multi-agency programme aimed at eradicating fuel poverty by 2018 raises serious concerns about the Welsh Government’s commitment to tackling fuel poverty. This is even more so the case now it seems that the Nest programme is suffering from similar failures.
“Welsh Labour need to commit to an investigation to address the failure to properly manage public money here.
“It is important to learn lessons from these failures, Welsh households cannot wait a potential 135 years to insulate vulnerable homes. The impact on public health, the economy and the environment of not solving this problem is insurmountable.
“The Welsh Government has huge questions to answer about the scale, investment, management and pace of any future scheme.”