New figures reveal that over five million households have already been forced to choose between heating and eating, and more than half of people in the UK won’t be able to afford to pay their bills in the coming months.
The figures come from an exclusive Deltapoll survey for the Daily Mirror and Daily Record, which also shows that two-thirds put the cost of living crisis as their primary concerns and that soaring bills have impacted the mental health of over half of those surveyed.
New data from the Office of National Statistics has also revealed that nearly a quarter (23%) of adults reported it was difficult to pay their usual household bills – an increase from 17% in November 2021 – and 43% reported it was difficult to afford their energy bills.
Both sets of statistics, which are the first to come out following the Tory National Insurance hike in April, highlighted that 9 in 10 people had seen their own cost of living rise.
Commenting, SNP Treasury spokesperson, Alison Thewliss MP said:
“These figures are harrowing.
“The fact that there are over five million people in 21st century Britain that are having to choose between heating and eating is disgraceful – and all of this is happening under the Tories at Westminster.
“The Prime Minister should feel ashamed.
“The SNP has repeatedly warned that these figures will continue to grow unless Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak wake up to reality and take action.
“Under the Tories and their decade of austerity, the UK already has the worst poverty and inequality levels in North West Europe – we cannot allow these to get worse.
“The SNP Scottish Government is doing what it can with its limited powers – including uprating benefits by 6% and more than doubling the Scottish Child Payment to £25.
“However, while key employment and welfare powers remain reserved to Westminster we need the UK government to step up too.
“For about a month now, my SNP colleagues and I have been calling on the Chancellor to bring in an emergency budget – and I am pleased to see that Labour is now backing those calls.
“Instead of making plans to heat his pool at a cost of £13,000 per year, Rishi Sunak should be planning to reverse the £1040 Universal Credit cut, turning the debt-inducing energy loan into a more generous grant, bringing in a Real Living Wage, and scrapping the regressive National Insurance hike.
“On 5th May, at the council elections in Scotland, we need to send the Tories a message by voting SNP – we will not let them get away with leaving families to struggle up and down these islands.”