Cost of Living Crisis

The Issue:

The Cost of Living Crisis is a phrase we’ve sadly become all too accustomed to hearing. But we must remember that we didn’t end up where we are by chance – this is a direct result of UK Government policy in action. From austerity, to Brexit, to the Truss “Kami-Kwasi” mini-budget, the UK Government has let us down time and time again. 

Our social security system is not fit for purpose either, with Universal Credit having been cut – remember about 40% of those on Universal Credit are in work. Coupled with energy prices skyrocketing, food inflation running riot and interest rates through the roof, it’s little wonder folk are seriously struggling to make ends meet.

The Impact:

It’s easy to lump all of these issues together and blame global factors, such as the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic. And while those, clearly, have an impact on the markets and therefore people’s lives, we should be looking to Westminster for the source of the real troubles.

Taking interest rates as an example, someone coming off their fixed-rate mortgage deal will be faced with an astronomical price rise, often in the region of £400 per month as a direct result of financial mismanagement in Westminster.

Then we have food price increases; staple foods (breads, pastas etc.) have increased by as much as 80%. Where are people supposed to find the money when they’re already paying more for their homes, their energy and near enough everything else?

Work I am doing:

Along with my SNP colleagues, I have continued to raise these issues using all the parliamentary tools at my disposal. I’ve written multiple letters to the Chancellor, submitted written parliamentary questions to the relevant ministers, asked oral questions in the Commons, met with local organisations and campaign groups, presented Bills in Parliament and held debates in Westminster Hall on the matter. The frustrating thing is that neither the current Tory Government, nor the Labour Party seem to want to engage meaningfully on this matter and fail to support my calls. 

It’s worth pointing out that my calls are completely uncontroversial and, more importantly, doable. For example, I have continually made the case to reverse the £20 per week cut to Universal Credit. This would make a huge difference to those currently out of work and those on the lowest paid jobs too. 

The Scottish Government, through the limited powers it does have, has mitigated some of the effects of the Cost of Living Crisis through initiatives such as the Scottish Child Payment, free or discounted public transport, free university education, free prescriptions and so on. But with both of the Westminster parties unable or unwilling to help those in need, it’s clear that Independence is the only way to sort this issue for good.

Share Your Views:

The Cost of Living Crisis is having a profound impact on our communities, and many reaching out for support have never had to do so before. It’s vital that every voice is heard on this.

With that in mind, I’d welcome your thoughts on the matter:


Recorded in May 2023.

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