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Saturday, May 21, 2022

UK Government Challenged to Get a Grip Over Tory Cost of Living Crisis

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The SNP has demanded that the UK government “get a grip” of the Tory cost-of-living crisis hammering households and called on it to follow the lead of EU neighbours on tackling rising costs.

It comes as research published by EDF contrasted the steps taken by EU countries to tackle rising costs with the UK’s approach and warned that the “poorest families will be disproportionately impacted by this cost of living crisis.”

The research found that –

– France has introduced a cap on gas prices till December 2022 and a commitment to cap electricity tariff increase to 4%.

– Germany has brought forward targeted support through a 50% reduction in EEG renewables charges to bills.

– In Spain, the government has introduced a targeted VAT cut, a temporary suspension in generation tax, and a temporary increase to discount for vulnerable customer electricity bills.

– Meanwhile, Portugal has brought forward a reduction in regulated tariffs for households (~3%) and reductions in network tariffs (~50%) in an attempt to mitigate the impact of the crisis.

The SNP has ramped up pressure on the UK government to introduce an emergency budget with a Real Living Wage, reversing £1040 Tory cuts to Universal Credit, matching the Scottish Child Payment UK-wide, and turning the £200 energy loan into a more generous grant.

Instead, the Westminster Tory government has so far ploughed on with a tax cut for banks worth £4 billion.

Commenting, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said:

“The Tory cost-of-living crisis is spiralling out of control and the UK government is too side-tracked by scandals to get on with the day job and deliver real support to help struggling households.

“While the UK government has failed to properly act to tackle the crisis, our EU neighbours are introducing targeted financial measures to help mitigate rising prices and the impact it is having on people.

“The UK government has the powers over this to act – particularly on energy. Our EU neighbours are using the powers available to them to support their citizens and it is vital that the UK government gets a grip of the crisis and follows their lead.

“The cost-of-living crisis in the UK has been a decade in the making under the Tory government’s watch – with a toxic concoction of Tory cuts, regressive tax hikes, and the soaring cost of Brexit piling on the hardship.

“While the Prime Minister is engulfed in scandal and the Chancellor is manoeuvring for his job and ploughing ahead with a tax cut for bankers worth £4 billion, ordinary people across the UK are struggling to make ends meet and are being left in the cold.

“With Parliament set to return from recess, the UK government must urgently act by bringing forward an emergency budget with a Real Living Wage, reversing £1040 Tory cuts to Universal Credit, matching the Scottish Child Payment UK-wide, and turning the £200 energy loan into a more generous grant.

“The reality however is that with every step the Scottish Government takes to help families and tackle poverty, Westminster drags us back.

“The only way to keep Scotland safe from the damage of Westminster control is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to build a fairer society.”

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