Chancellor pressured into urgent action to help households.
The SNP has called on the Chancellor to use the upcoming Spring Statement to deliver a package of measures to help those set to be hit hardest by the cost of living crisis.
It comes as a release from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warns that the ‘spectre of inflation’ hangs over the Spring Statement, amidst record high levels growing faster than wages.
The report revealed that without urgent action to protect families from the effects of rising energy bills, families on even ‘moderate incomes’ could face the biggest hit to their living standards since the financial crisis.
Warning that massive rises to energy bills are already hitting and with more fast approaching as a result of the Ukraine war, the SNP has said a ‘perfect storm’ will hammer households’ finances and threaten living standards.
The SNP’s Shadow DWP Secretary, David Linden MP, called for a package of measures to alleviate households’ financial woes, including the delivery of the Real Living Wage, a matching of the Scottish Child Payment, a reversal to the £20 a week cut to Universal Credit, and, at the very minimum, turning the UK government’s paltry £200 energy loan into a more generous grant.
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow DWP Secretary, David Linden MP, said:
“A perfect storm of Tory austerity, rising inflation and energy bills, slow wage growth and cuts to Universal Credit has formed, and without the announcement of serious support at the Spring Statement, families across Scotland and the UK will face serious financial hardship.
“We’re already in a situation, in the 21st century, where we see households forced into a choice between heating or eating.
“It beggars’ belief that this hasn’t shamed the Tories into action.
“These latest warnings make for stark reading, revealing that even those on comfortable incomes will face massive hits to their living standards.
“Tens of millions will soon suffer without the support they need from this Tory government.
“At the very least the Chancellor must turn his pathetic £200 loan into a more generous grant for those set to be hit hardest by spiralling energy bills.
“If there is any desire in the Chancellor to tackle this crisis he could learn from the SNP Scottish Government by matching the Scottish Child Payment and go further by reversing his callous cuts to Universal Credit, and implement the Real Living Wage of £9.90 an hour.
“This whole saga just cements the case for independence.
“For months we’ve warned of the cost of Tory inaction and now ordinary families are paying the price.
“Only with the full powers of independence can we deliver a fair settlement for families.”