SNP updates calls for UK Government emergency budget to deal with cost of living
The plea follows an appeal from the British Chamber of Commerce for an emergency budget, demanding action to support businesses and families.
Alison Thewliss, SNP shadow chancellor, said the Tories had so far done nothing to support the people being hit hardest by the spiralling crisis and demanded strong action from the queen’s speech.
The MP said: “The Tories have so far done nothing to support the families and households bearing the brutal brunt of this Tory-made cost of living crisis.
“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, too mired in sleaze and scandal to focus on the issues of the day, have directly plunged millions more into poverty and destitution, and without government action that number will increase exponentially.”
The MP said next week’s return to the House presents the UK government with “an opportunity” to bring forward “real legislation” to support those who are struggling.
Ms Thewliss said an introduction of the real living wage, the turning of the “paltry energy support loan into a more generous grant”, and a UK-wide child payment would all be a “good start”.
She added: “There are families who cannot afford to wait much longer and businesses on the brink of going bust, the Tories must stop sitting on their hands and get on with their job of helping the country through this crisis.”
So far, the UK Government has allocated a £22 billion package of support this financial year to tackle the cost of the living crisis across the UK.
Specific funding includes raising the National Insurance Contribution Threshold and lowering the Universal Credit taper rate.
A UK Government spokesperson said: “We understand that people are struggling with rising prices, and while we can’t shield everyone from the global challenges we face, we're supporting British families to navigate the months ahead with a £22 billion package of support this financial year.
“That includes saving the typical employee over £330 a year by raising the National Insurance Contribution threshold, lowering the Universal Credit taper rate to help people keep more of the money they earn, and providing millions of households with up to £350 each to help with rising energy bills”
Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has expanded support to improve the energy efficiency of homes and tackle energy costs.
This includes expanding the Home Energy Scotland (HES) advice service by increasing capacity by 20% to support an extra 12,000 households a year and widening the eligibility criteria of the Warmer Homes Scotland fuel poverty programme to include more groups within the 60 – 75 years age range.
The Scottish Government has also increased the level of funding individual fuel poor households could benefit from through the local authority-led Area Based Schemes.
More than £160 million of funding is being invested this year to help make Scotland’s homes and buildings warmer.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.