The Chancellor must use the budget to tackle the Tory-made cost of living crisis harming households across Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey local MP, Drew Hendry has said.
Polling carried out by Survation in partnership with campaign group 38Degrees revealed the stark impact of rising costs imposed on households in recent months, with findings showing that in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey:
14% of people have missed rent payments in the last six months
39% haven’t been able to afford to turn the heating on
25% fear they may have to use a foodbank
Commenting, Drew Hendry MP said:
“All eyes are on next week’s budget to see what support is on offer to assist households through a cost of living crisis of the Tories’ making.
“Folk in the Highlands are suffering from a toxic mix of inflation, soaring energy costs, rising mortgage rates, and Tory austerity.
“These people and families simply cannot afford continued inaction from the UK government.
“If the Chancellor wants to provide help, he can start by cutting the Energy Price Guarantee to £2000 and maintaining the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme to the summer, a move that would save households £1,400.
“The fact that in this constituency alone, 14% are missing rent payments, 39% are living without heating through the cold months, and a quarter are either already using or considering using foodbanks is a disgrace that should shame the Tories into taking serious action – but I won’t be holding my breath.
“These figures have soared, like costs, under Westminster Tory rule, and we’re unlikely to see what families desperately need from a party that throughout its existence has lacked the political will to help the most vulnerable.
“In Scotland, we’ve used our limited powers to support households, including with the introduction of the Scottish Child payment, described as ‘game-changing’ by leading charities.
“But it shouldn’t be for the SNP Scottish Government to have to mitigate the worst of Tory rule constantly.
“The impact of the Tory-made cost of living crisis has set out further proof that only with the full powers of independence can we offer real support through difficult times and secure just economic prosperity that works for everyone in our society.”