Cowdenbeath by-election: SNP criticsed over energy

The SNP are “ignoring” people struggling with high energy prices and a cost of living crisis “made by the Tories”, according to shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint.

The SNP are ignoring the cost of living crisis and people struggling with rising energy prices, according to Caroline Flint. Picture: PA

Ms Flint will be in Kelty, Fife, today to discuss Labour’s proposals for an energy price freeze, and campaign for Cowdenbeath by-election candidate Alex Rowley.

Speaking ahead of the visit, she attacked SNP MPs for failing to turn up to a Westminister vote on Labour’s energy freeze.

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The SNP accused Labour of refusing to support a plan to reduce energy bills by 5% each year.

Shadow housing minister Caroline Flint: SNP ignoring energy price rises. Picture: Getty

Ms Flint said: “People across Scotland and in Cowdenbeath are struggling with a cost of living crisis made by the Tories, but ignored by the SNP.

“Labour will freeze energy prices if we are elected in 2015, going further than the SNP who want to wait until independence and, even then, aren’t willing to stand up to the energy companies.

“The only thing that the SNP have to offer are scare stories from the big six and, when Labour’s energy freeze was put to a vote in Parliament, SNP MPs didn’t even bother to turn up.”

SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing hit back and said: “Coming in the week when Labour abandoned families in Scotland by opposing the introduction of free school meals, Caroline Flint’s comments would be laughable if Labour’s actions were not so serious.

“When it comes to energy, the SNP have set out plans to use the powers of an independent Scotland not simply to freeze bills, but to bring them down by 5%, or some £70 each year every year - a policy which Labour refuse to support.

“That would be far better for people in Fife, rather than more failure from Westminster parties who have lost all grip on the cost of living.

“And it is for Ms Flint to explain why, under the Westminster system, a country as energy rich as Scotland has such unacceptably high energy bills in the first place.

“It is Labour’s Cuts Commission that is targeting the policies which are giving vital help to people in difficult times - a vote for the SNP in this by-election is a vote to deliver free school meals, extend childcare provision, and to protect the council tax freeze.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie will also be in Fife today to launch the by-election campaign of his candidate Jade Holden for Holyrood.

Mr Rennie and Ms Holden will be meeting children and staff at Rascals Pre-school nursery in Cowdenbeath.