Monday, January 16, 2012

Kirsty targets homes, heating and the economy

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has laid out the key issues for the party's AMs in 2012, in a statement last week. She added:

"Fuel poverty in Wales is a serious issue. Rising energy prices have had a huge impact on family budgets this winter, despite having a milder winter. Just last month, we saw the number of households living in fuel poverty in Wales rising to 41% - the highest percentage throughout the UK.

"In a civilized society, vulnerable people should not have to worry about whether or not they can afford to heat their homes. The impact on households that suffer from fuel poverty can be extreme with cold housing contributing to low attainment amongst school children, poor health and a rise in excess winter mortality rates.

"The Welsh Government failed to reach its target of taking all vulnerable households out of fuel poverty by 2010.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats have always been committed to tackling fuel poverty but there is now an even greater urgency in dealing with this issue as it is clear that Labour Government policies do not go far enough. We will work with other parties and the Welsh Government to ensure that the number of households living in fuel poverty in Wales will be in decline.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats will also work in this Assembly term to address the growing housing issue. The recent drop in the number of new homes being started in Wales are keeping house prices at unaffordable levels and this adds to the problems of first time buyers.

"We understand how difficult it is for young people to make it on the housing ladder. Many people feel trapped in renting accommodation because they can't raise the big deposit needed to buy their first home and they can't borrow money from the bank of mum and dad.

"We want to see a Welsh Government scheme where the government will act as a guarantor for a number of mortgages across Wales, helping first time buyers on the housing ladder."

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