Following fresh warnings from firms that energy prices could rise further and push the price cap up, the SNP has called for the UK government to act by bringing in a Brexit recovery fund and an emergency package to boost household incomes – including an energy payment for low-income families and a Real Living Wage.
Kirsten Oswald MP (pictured), the SNP’s Depute Westminster Leader, has warned that unless the UK government urgently takes these steps, businesses and low and middle income households will pay the price for the Tories’ actions.
Manufacturers are warning of higher prices for their goods as they pass on energy cost increases to consumers and that the energy price cap, which covers about 15 million households, could rise by £400 or higher in the spring – just as people are hit with the National Insurance hike.
While the price cap helps households, there is no such safeguard for businesses, which will have to absorb the full impact of rising global energy prices.
Commenting, Kirsten Oswald MP said:
“This Tory government’s actions and hard Brexit is hammering businesses and families across the country.
“On Boris Johnson’s watch, fuel and energy prices are soaring, and businesses are losing millions due to staffing shortages and trade barriers.
“Brexit has already cost Scotland billions of pounds – and is projected to leave every person the equivalent of £1,600 worse off a year by 2030 compared to EU membership.
“On top of this, six million people have just had their incomes slashed by the cut to Universal Credit, there is an upcoming regressive national insurance hike, and soaring bills could mean families losing hundreds or thousands of pounds over the coming months.
“The UK already has the worst levels of poverty and inequality in north west Europe, and the highest levels of in-work poverty this century.
“The UK government must announce a multi-billion pound Brexit recovery fund to mitigate the damage caused by Boris Johnson’s deal, and an emergency package to boost household incomes – reversing Tory Universal Credit cuts, introducing an energy payment for low income families, and a real Living Wage would be a start.
“While the SNP will continue to press for action to protect household incomes, at the end of the day, the only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts and the long-term damage of Brexit is to become an independent country.”