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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Inflation Hits 9.4% Whist Tories Prioritise Leadership Contest

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The SNP’s Treasury spokesperson has said that Scotland can’t afford to keep the UK Tory government given Conservative heavyweights are prioritising their own internal fighting over cost-of-living support, as inflation rises for the ninth month in a row to 9.4%.

Alison Thewliss MP has repeatedly called for the UK Government to take targeted action as inflation spirals – but the SNP’s calls have been ignored amidst the chaos of Boris Johnson’s premiership and the Tory leadership contest.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show inflation is now at the highest level since 1982, yet regular pay is falling at the fastest rate since 2001 when taking inflation into account.

The Resolution Foundation has warned that it is poorer households – those already struggling after a decade of Tory austerity – who are being hit hardest by the rising costs.

The Bank of England has warned that UK inflation is on course to reach 11% by the autumn.

Commenting, SNP Treasury spokesperson Alison Thewliss MP said:

“The UK Government is distracted by internal power struggles within the Tory Party, and ordinary people are bearing the brunt of their infighting.

“Westminster has made its priorities clear – Scotland would be much better off without it with independence.

“What we know about high inflation is that it doesn’t affect everyone equally.

“People at the lower end of the income scale are less likely to have had pay rises to match inflation, as well as being disproportionately affected by price increases.  

“The Scottish Government is doing what it can with it’s limited powers such as uprating benefits and mitigating the benefit cap and bedroom tax but with 85% of social security spending reserved to Westminster, we’ve needed the UK government to act too and they haven’t.

“The SNP has repeatedly called for a targeted approach to support low-income households such as bringing in a Real Living Wage, matching the Scottish Child Payment and increasing Universal Credit and legacy benefit payments, as well as scrapping debt-inducing policies like the two-child cap and five-week wait.

“We’ve been ignored.

“Businesses are also impacted by soaring prices of raw materials and fuel, which will have a knock-on effect on consumer confidence.

“UK government inaction risks exacerbating poverty and creating a deep recession which could take years to recover from.

“It is only with independence that we can look to escape this outcome for Scotland.”

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