By Lucy Ashton
Jackie Baillie has hit out at the SNP’s shambolic handling of new fire alarm regulations, as it emerged that less than one in 10 of those eligible for support will be able to receive it.
New regulations requiring interlinked fire alarms will force thousands of households to cough up for pricey installations – but so far the SNP have offered just £500,000 to help meet those costs.
They claimed this funding would help “older and disabled homeowners with installation”, but information obtained by FOI revealed that with more than half the budget spent, just over 800 households have benefited – suggesting under 2,000 will benefit overall.
This is in contrast to around 60,000 households being eligible for Pension Credit or Employment Support Allowance.
Even applying the SNP’s stringent eligibility criteria, estimates suggest 35,000 people would be eligible – meaning well under one in 10 of those eligible will get help.
Jackie Baillie, right, called on the SNP to make sure these costs don’t hit the worst off by providing new funding, but there seems little prospect of that happening.
This adds to mounting criticism of the regulations, with public awareness virtually non-existent ahead of the laws coming into force in February.
Baillie described the funding as “pitiful”, accusing the SNP of presiding over chaos.
She said: “This pitiful offering from the SNP completely shortchanges homeowners. The poorest households will be hit hardest by this shambles, but people across Scotland are going to be blindsided by laws they didn’t even know existed
“The SNP are presiding over sheer chaos, burying their heads in the sand about the mountain to climb to deliver these changes.
“We need an urgent awareness campaign, much clearer advice, and proper support to stop the poorest households being hammered by extortionate costs.”
Picture: A house fire in Westcliff, Dumbarton.