A major fuel poverty charity has called on Rishi Sunak to help poorer households balance their own ‘negative budgets’ this winter – or face driving millions of households into more debt.
Ahead of Wednesday’s Autumn Budget, National Energy Action (NEA) has urged the Chancellor to use new revenues from VAT on soaring energy bills and carbon taxes to help heat and power the homes of 2 million households across the UK.
The SNP has expressed similar concerns, demanding that the UK government introduce an emergency package to boost household incomes and reverse rising levels of poverty in the UK – as well as a multi-billion-pound Brexit Recovery Fund to mitigate against the growing cost of Brexit.
Commenting, the SNP’s Depute Westminster Leader Kirsten Oswald MP said:
“Under Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak’s leadership, the UK is now tackling a cost-of-living crisis.
“As a result of the negligence of this Tory government, we are witnessing rising levels of poverty and inequality across the UK.
“It is therefore incumbent on Rishi Sunak to make tackling the cost-of-living crisis the number one priority in this budget.
“Millions of families are currently worse off as a result of damaging Tory policies, such as imposing a hard Brexit, slashing Universal Credit, hiking National Insurance, freezing public sector pay, and scraping the triple lock on pensions – all whilst tackling a global pandemic.
“The Chancellor must use this budget to boost incomes, improve sick pay, reverse the Universal Credit cut, and introduce an energy payment for low-income families – families who have been directly hit by callous Tory cuts.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to eradicate poverty and build a fairer future.”