SNP accuse Scotland Office of not 'lifting a finger' to help with cost-of-living crisis

The SNP have accused the Scotland office of not “lifting a finger” to help with the cost-of-living crisis.

Mhairi Black challenged the UK Government over a lack of support during Scottish Questions on Wednesday while pointing to support from Holyrood.

It came in a session that also saw Labour accuse Scotland’s two governments in Holyrood and Westminster of “compounding the cost-of-living crisis”.

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The SNP Scotland spokesperson said: “Let me say that the Scottish Government already spend over £1 billion mitigating the worst of Tory cuts.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. Picture: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

"We are investing £770 million per year on the cost-of-living crisis, we are increasing Scottish benefits by 6 per cent, doubling the Scottish child payment, mitigating the bedroom tax.

“Does he not agree it is about time his department lifted a finger?”

Scotland Office minister Iain Stewart replied: “My department is providing the Scottish Government with a record level of support – £41bn.

“It might be able to do more if they hadn’t wasted hundreds of millions of pounds on ferries that don’t work, or the First Minister on an independence revival tour of the United States.”

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The Commons also heard the SNP accused of failing to do enough on the cost-of-living crisis.

Shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray said: “Inflation is at a 40-year high, but in reality, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies today, it is much higher for most households.

"The weekly shop, the energy bill, petrol for the car, taxes, all rising to the extent that 150,000 more Scots can’t pay their bills today.

"The Chancellor keeps saying he stands ready to act, but refuses an emergency budget. His acts so far have raised taxes to the highest in 70 years and dropped living standards by the highest amount since the 1950s.”

To jeers from the SNP, he added: “Scotland has two governments making decisions that are compounding the cost-of-living crisis. So can the Secretary of State tell us what he is doing to get the Chancellor to act if he is not acting now?”

Scotland minister Iain Stewart replied: “This isn’t an issue unique to the United Kingdom. I have already set out that the Chancellor has delivered a £22bn support for the people of this country, he is keeping a very close eye on the situation and will intervene where necessary.”

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