Cost of Living

Scotland – in the House of Commons at on 1 May 2024.

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Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)

What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the cost of living in Scotland.

Photo of John Lamont John Lamont The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland

This Government have demonstrated their commitment to supporting households across the United Kingdom and in Scotland with the cost of living, with a £108 billion package of support—one of the largest in Europe. Inflation is now at 3.2%, which is less than half its recent peak, and is expected to fall to its 2% target one year earlier than expected.

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)

According to the Scottish Parliament’s own research as well as the Fraser of Allander Institute, the Scottish Government’s child poverty targets for 2023-24 are not set to be met. Given the dereliction of their net zero targets and the widening attainment gap, does the Minister agree that the Scottish Government have given up on governing and given up on the future of Scottish children?

Photo of John Lamont John Lamont The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland

I agree with the hon. Member: the SNP gave up governing in Scotland a long time ago thanks to its continued obsession with independence and referendums. The UK Government remain committed to supporting households across Scotland, demonstrated through our 6.7% increase in working age benefits, our maintaining the triple lock for 12 million pensioners and our cut to national insurance.

Photo of Michael Shanks Michael Shanks Shadow Minister (Scotland)

I wish Humza Yousaf well for the future, but after his year in office, nobody in Scotland is better off, and that is coupled with our having a Prime Minister who is clinging on to power. Child poverty is up. Life expectancy is falling. NHS waiting lists are up. Drug deaths are up. Homelessness is up. Economic growth has flatlined. Is it not the inescapable truth that Scots have been failed by two Governments for far too long? Does the Minister agree that what Scotland needs now is to be rid of both these distracted, incompetent and hopelessly out-of-touch Governments?

Photo of John Lamont John Lamont The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland

I certainly agree that the SNP Government have not been focused on the day job. They have been neglecting Scotland’s schools, NHS and transport network. They have not been getting on with the day job, but the harsh reality is that whoever is elected to replace Humza Yousaf as First Minister will still have the same obsession with independence and referendums.