UK Government must act
The cost of living crisis brings bad news for almost everyone, however, it is the people who are on low to middle incomes for whom it potentially poses an unmanageable challenge.
Whilst higher earners might be able to absorb higher costs, years of austerity and low income growth under Tory Governments have left the people who are on the lowest earnings with little to no room for manoeuvre.
The doubling of the energy discount to £400 falls short of mitigating price increases for those who are least able to afford their energy bills and whilst owners of second homes will receive double payments, others are not eligible for any payments. For example, constituents who live on a park home estate. Who due to their having no direct utility accounts, will not receive any help with their energy bills.
All while the UK Chancellor has chosen to spend only half of the £30 billion that he has at his disposal.
There is no respite from the relentless rise in prices, with some people facing the terrifying reality of not being able to afford the basics. Increasing numbers of people are facing stark choices. Westminster holds most of the powers over what is needed to tackle the cost of living crisis. It is time that it flexed its fiscal powers and realised that lower-income households do not have the flexibility that higher-income households use in managing price increases.
Find Ruth’s speech on the Scottish Parliament Official Report here.
Watch Ruth’s speech here: