Nicola Sturgeon has urged the UK Government “to wake up” to the scale of the cost of living crisis.
The First Minister spoke out on the day the price cap was lifted on domestic energy bills – meaning the cost of electricity and gas will increase by a record average of 54 per cent, leaving Scots left to foot a massive rise.
The energy market is regulated by the UK Government which has so far ignored calls to reduce or remove VAT on household bills.
The SNP leader was at Queen Street station in Glasgow today to mark the ScotRail franchise passing to public control.
It will see the country’s biggest passenger network report directly to the Scottish Government for the first time.
But with inflation soaring and household bills on the rise, Sturgeon warned some people were now struggling to properly heat their home and feed themselves.
Asked by the Record what she would say to the PM over the cost of living, the First Minister said: “My message to Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak is wake up to the magnitude of the scale of the crisis that people right across the UK are facing.
“When we talk about poverty we often talk about people choosing between heating and eating. But there are people right across the UK right now that will not be able to do either properly.
“I think we’re getting further into a crisis that is the bigger than any of us have ever experienced before.
“The interventions of the UK Government thus far are woefully inadequate.
“So for the sake of lives across the country it is time to do more.”
The First Minister was earlier asked about financial hardship many households would now face.
She added: “For many families across Scotland, and across the UK, this is a profoundly concerning day because of the lifting of the energy cap and inflation pressure.
“The Scottish Government doesn’t hold all the levers and resources here – we are doing everything we can.”
She continued: “We need the Chancellor and the Prime Minister to do much more to help people.”
It comes as a UK Government minister who is paid £115,824 has said the cost-of-living rise will be “tricky” for his household, on the same day he is set to receive a pay rise of £2,212.
MPs’ salaries rise to £84,144 on Friday, up by 2.7%, after the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) – which sets MPs’ pay – announced last month that salaries would go up for the first time in two years.
Speaking on Sky News, policing minister Kit Malthouse acknowledged it will be “very tough”.
He said: “We completely acknowledge that a combination of factors has meant that prices are rising significantly, energy prices in particular, driven by a variety of factors – post-pandemic, the war in Ukraine, other kinds of global factors outside of our immediate control – and it is tough.
“For those of us who have a smart meter, as we do here in my house, we can see how much it is costing us on an hourly basis, and it is not happy reading.”
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