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The thousands of families across the Western Isles are being plunged into deeper fuel poverty because there's a shortage of meter-readers locally meaning the bills are often estimated and too high. 

That's the view of Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron who has sought assurances that fuel poverty in the Western Isles is being addressed by the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Conservative MSP questioned Housing Minister Shona Robison yesterday (Thursday December 15)  in the Scottish Parliament after it was revealed that 43% of households in the Western Isles are estimated to be in fuel poverty.

The situation has been exacerbated following the recent loss of two meter readers locally, meaning more household bills are worked out by higher priced estimates, he stated.

Speaking later Mr Cameron said: “These are truly shocking figures which mean hardship for a significant number of residents in the Western Isles.

“Although the minister referred to the Scottish Government’s strategy, that will do little to remedy the situation for people who are struggling with their bills right now.

“Making matters worse is the challenge of upgrading homes, due to the costs of transporting materials like insulation to the Western Isles and the unreliability of the ferry service.

“We really do need to see a much greater focus from SNP ministers on supporting our island communities than has been evident in recent years.”

Mr Cameron’s exchange with Shona Robison can be viewed here at 14:41:40 here: Meeting of the Parliament | Scottish Parliament TV