'Extremely worrying outlook', says Kate Forbes as inflation figure rises to 9.1 per cent

Scotland’s finance secretary Kate Forbes has been unable to commit to increasing the Scottish Child Payment despite stating rising inflation is “extremely worrying”.

The Consumer Prices Index inflation figure rose slightly to 9.1 per cent for last month – the highest it has been in 40 years.

The increase matches what analysts had expected as rates continue to rise and people begin to feel even more crippled by the cost of living.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Ms Forbes said the figure revealed an “extremely worrying outlook”, but she stressed the UK Government held “most of the powers” to tackle the crisis.

Kate Forbes said the rising inflation rate reveals an "extremely worrying outlook".

Her comments came as the Bank of England warned inflation would reach 11 per cent this year.

The finance secretary also said she had “huge sympathy” with all workers, including rail workers on strike, who were seeing their “costs rising faster than their wages".

Ms Forbes said she could not “inflation-proof” all pay deals, but said there could be resolutions which were affordable, progressive and recognised the “immense pressures” of workers.

The MSP was unable to commit to raising the Scottish Child Payment – a weekly payment that families or carers can get for every child who is under six years of age.

Ms Forbes said there was a “myriad” of support measures the Scottish Government had issued within its budget to help with the cost of living, such as up-rating all social security benefits at the rate of inflation at the time of the budget and providing additional support through the Scottish Child Payment.

The Resolution Foundation and Save the Children released a report on child poverty in Scotland that points to the benefits of increasing the child payment above inflation in 2023 and 2024.

Ms Forbes welcomed the report as she said the Scottish Government had been on track to meet targets, but “the challenges of today” meant it would have to work “even harder” to meet those commitments.

Read More

Read More
Prices continue to rise at the fastest rate in 40 years as UK inflation hits 9.1...

Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland on Wednesday, the finance secretary told the programme: “We have said that we will set out in next year’s budget where we go next with the Scottish Child Payment, but at the moment we have said it will rise to £25 from the end of the year.

“None of this funding is available elsewhere in the UK and that means at the moment whilst we bridge our way to the Scottish Child Payment, families are receiving the help right now – £520 for school-aged children.

"I hope, sincerely, that our own budget will rise in line with inflation and we are able to continue to protect all of these schemes in line with inflation.”

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.