Cost of Living

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 28 April 2022.

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Photo of Alasdair Allan Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party

It was reported this week that, despite soaring energy prices, the United Kingdom Government’s working group that was set up to address the cost of living has not met since the start of the partygate scandal. It was also reported that the chancellor has said that it was “silly” to boost support for energy bills. Does the First Minister share the view expressed this week by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that the UK Government’s response to the crisis has been “woefully inadequate”?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Yes, I share that view. The UK Government’s response has been woefully inadequate. Most of the resources and levers to tackle the crisis lie with the UK Government. Some—not all, I accept—of the factors that are driving the crisis have happened at the hand of the UK Government, not least the impact and implications of Brexit and the removal of universal credit from the most vulnerable families. It is time that the UK Government stepped up and responded properly.

The chancellor’s comment that it would be “silly” to provide help for people is deeply offensive to those across Scotland and all other parts of the UK who, right now, are struggling to heat their homes and feed their children. It is time for Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson and the UK Government to step up and to act.