Scandal-hit Boris Johnson failing to tackle cost-of-living crisis, say SNP

Boris Johnson's Government is "so caught up in scandal" that it is failing to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, the SNP has said.

The party called for an emergency financial package to support struggling families.

It came as SNP ministers were urged to increase devolved disability benefits to help those facing "real hardship" in Scotland.

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The Scottish Liberal Democrats called for a rise of 6 per cent to match the expected CPI inflation rate in April.

Picture: Phil Noble/PA

The party's social security spokeswoman Caron Lindsay said: “People with disabilities often have equipment such as electric wheelchairs or mobility scooters that gobble up electricity and, with fuel prices set to soar, they face real hardship."

However, a Scottish Government spokesman said: “Under current arrangements we are required to annually uprate our new Adult Disability Payment and Child Disability Payments at the same rate as the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions], which is the September 2021 CPI of 3.1 per cent."

He added: “Where we have flexibility we are using our limited resources to help families of the most severely disabled children and young people cope with rising costs.

"We have chosen to increase Child Winter Heating Allowance by 5 per cent, supporting 19,000 families and we’re doubling the Scottish Child Payment to £20 per child per week – a 100 per cent rise.”

There have been widespread concerns about the cost-of-living crisis amid rising food costs and an expected hike in fuel bills in April.

Speaking ahead of a Westminster debate on the issue, SNP MP David Linden said: "The UK Government is so caught up in scandal, and distracted by sleaze, that it is failing in its basic duty to protect people from the worsening Tory cost-of-living crisis.

"Tory MPs must finally show Boris Johnson the door so they can turn their attention to delivering the support that families urgently need and reversing the rising poverty on their watch.

"Twelve years of Tory cuts, regressive tax hikes and the soaring cost of Brexit have squeezed household budgets and pushed people into poverty.

"The Tory Government cannot escape the fact that it has left families worse off and is failing to reverse the damage it has caused.

"Under Boris Johnson, the UK has the worst levels of poverty and inequality in north west Europe and the highest in-work poverty this century. That's not a record to be proud of.

"The UK Government must finally introduce an emergency package to boost household incomes – reversing the Tory cuts to Universal Credit, matching the Scottish Child Payment UK-wide, delivering a low income energy payment, introducing a real living wage and raising sick pay.

"Tory ministers are making the case for independence by imposing cuts and failing to use reserved powers to tackle poverty.”

Simon Clarke, chief secretary to the Treasury, insisted the UK economy was "roaring back to life" following the pandemic.

Speaking in the Commons, he said the UK Government was "striving to shield families from the rises in the cost of living" and argued the "best anti-poverty strategy is a jobs strategy".

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