The SNP has urged the UK government to provide urgent financial assistance to support low-income families suffering from the cost-of-living crisis – as new statistics reveals the number of low-income households in arrears has tripled since the pandemic began.
The analysis, conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, has revealed the extent of the debt crisis hanging over the UK’s lowest earners, as the country prepares to face a cost-of-living crisis this winter.
The report found that 3.8million (33%) low-income households across the UK are currently in arrears with bills totalling £5.2billion.
The report also concluded that 950,000 were in rent arrears; 1.4million are currently behind on council tax bills; and a further 1.4million are behind on their electricity and gas bills.
The problems only enhance for those within the ‘working-age’ household category (18-64) – with 44% in arrears.
Furthermore, almost three quarters (71%) of households aged between 18-24 are in arrears.
The SNP’s Work and Pensions spokesperson, David Linden MP (pictured), has urged the Prime Minister and Chancellor to make an immediate U-turn on the cut to Universal Credit, and to offer an emergency financial package to boost household incomes to make up for the soaring costs low-income families are facing.
Commenting, the SNP’s Work and Pensions spokesperson David Linden MP said:
“Under Boris Johnson’s watch, the UK is facing a cost-of-living crisis.
“The actions of this Tory government, coupled with a botched Brexit deal, continues to hammer families and businesses across the country.
“This latest report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation lays bare the consequences of cutting Universal Credit, hiking taxes, and imposing a hard Brexit on the UK during a pandemic.
“Each of these decisions have hit the lowest earners in our society the hardest – something we have sadly become accustomed to under this Tory government.
“As fuel and energy prices continue to soar, and businesses continue to lose millions due to staff shortages and trade barriers, the Tories bury their head in the sand and pretend everything is fine.
“They should be ashamed of themselves.
“The SNP will continue to press for action to protect and increase household incomes as the cost-of-living crisis continues to hit home.
“However, there can be no doubt that the only way to keep Scotland’s households safe from cruel Tory cuts is to become an independent country.”