North Sea Oil and Gas (Energy Security)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 8th March 2022.

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Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

We have raised with the UK Government on a number of occasions the fact that it needs to take seriously the cost of living crisis that households are facing, which will result in a significant number of people in Scotland ending up in fuel poverty or extreme fuel poverty. As we can now see, the measures that the UK Government has taken are nothing more than smoke and mirrors, because it turns out that there is no new money from the Government to support even the £150 that people were meant to get as a discount on their council tax payment. The UK Government has failed to recognise that this issue will blow up in its face at some point because households, particularly those on lower incomes, are facing extreme financial challenges.

It is time for the UK Government to face up to that and to put serious financial resources in place to support households that are experiencing difficulties. That could mean removing VAT on fuel bills; it could be about providing new money to meet the cost of living; and it could involve ensuring that the loans that the Government is providing to people over the course of this year are converted into grants in order to support them, instead of playing out a game that is nothing more than smoke and mirrors at a time when families are struggling to decide whether to heat their home or put food on the table.