Westminster must not 'hide behind Ukraine' over cost-of-living crisis, says SNP

The SNP has said the UK government “cannot be allowed to hide behind Ukraine” over the spiralling cost-of-living crisis – demanding emergency help for families at the Spring Statement set to be revealed on March 23.

Alison Thewliss MP said there was “no excuse for inaction” from the Chancellor, warning the crisis has been ”a decade in the making” with “rising costs compounded by damaging Westminster decisions over Brexit, Tory austerity cuts, and a failure to invest in renewable energy”.

Her comments are her latest on the topic of supporting stretched household purse strings, having joined forces with the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford to earlier this month write to Mr Sunak calling for more action to tackle rising bills, urging Universal Credit to be raised and the Scottish Child Payment benefit to be matched UK-wide.

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“Rishi Sunak cannot just wash his hands of this crisis and leave families in the lurch,” she said at the time, having in February echoed Mr Blackford’s call to introduce an emergency budget.

SNP Shadow Chancellor Ms Thewliss has now said Mr Sunak “must not cynically use the war in Ukraine as cover for Tory failure” – and demanded a comprehensive package of support for families including converting the £200 energy loan into a grant, and introducing a Real Living Wage to boost incomes.

Her comments follows Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis reportedly saying: "I am slightly worried that we are seeing what may be potentially a deliberate narrative shift that effectively says the entire cost-of-living crisis is due to Ukraine, and therefore we all need to make sacrifices. And that is not correct."

Ms Thewliss said: “The UK government cannot be allowed to hide behind the war in Ukraine as an excuse for the spiralling Tory cost-of-living crisis, when for many months the SNP has warned that families are struggling.

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'There is no excuse for inaction from the Chancellor when the majority of families face a devastating blow to their household incomes,' says the SNP (file image). Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto.

“This Tory crisis has been a decade in the making… Rishi Sunak must not cynically use the war in Ukraine as cover for years of Tory failure. With every day the UK government fails to use its reserved powers to tackle the cost of living, it is demonstrating that independence is the only way for Scotland to boost incomes and build a fairer society.”

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