The SNP has demanded that the Chancellor returns to Parliament to set out an Emergency Budget as warnings mount over the scale of the Tory cost-of-living crisis pushing households into poverty.
The party’s Shadow Chancellor stated that families will be struggling to make ends meet following the steep energy price hike as well as the rise in National Insurance, and will face yet another blow when energy prices are set to rise again in October – with the governor of the Bank of England issuing a bleak assessment that the “shock from energy prices this year will be larger than any single year in the 1970s.”
Alison Thewliss MP added that while the Prime Minister and Chancellor “may be able to afford to sit on their hands and do nothing till the Autumn Budget, ordinary people don’t have the same luxury.”
The call for an Emergency Budget comes after a member of the UK government’s fuel poverty commission, Paul Massara, delivered a stark warning that “many people now will be struggling with this increase and for those on the lowest incomes it is becoming a heat-versus-eat situation. And so we need to step in.”
Meanwhile, the TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “…millions of families have been pushed to the breaking point by spiralling bills and soaring inflation.”
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said:
“The Chancellor and Prime Minister may be able to afford to go off on their recess break, sit on their hands and do nothing till the Autumn Budget, but ordinary people don’t have that same luxury.
“In fact, many are having to make the difficult decision over whether they can afford to eat a meal or heat their home.
“Households are facing a triple whammy from the energy price hike from April, the rise in National Insurance and the impending rise of energy prices in October.
“Unless the UK government acts, then millions face being plunged into poverty and hardship – and the blame will lie at the doors of the Prime Minister and Chancellor.
“The reality is that the Spring statement wasn’t just a missed opportunity, it was a deliberate political choice by the UK government to ignore the Tory cost-of-living crisis brewing under its watch.
“Warm words now won’t heat up homes or food – only action will.
“The Chancellor must immediately return to Parliament with an Emergency Budget that finally puts money into people’s pockets.
“In it, Rishi Sunak must at the very minimum use the reserved powers available to him and convert the £200 energy loan into a more generous grant, scrap the National Insurance tax hike, reverse the £1040 cuts to Universal Credit, match the Scottish Child Payment UK-wide, introduce a Real Living Wage to boost incomes, reduce or remove VAT on household energy bills, and follow the Scottish Government’s 6% uprating of benefits.
“It’s clear beyond any doubt that the only way to properly protect people’s incomes, tackle poverty and build a fairer society is for Scotland to have the full powers of independence.”