Renfrewshire MP slams Downing Street over cost of living help

AN MP has called for action over the catastrophic cost of living crisis, branding the UK Government’s actions as “reckless”.

It came as new figures revealed this week that inflation has hit seven per cent as the crisis deepens – the highest level for 30 years.

And now SNP MP Gavin Newlands has hit out at the Tory government’s “failure” to get a grip on the soaring cost of living,

He called on multi-millionaire Chancellor Rishi Sunak to do more to help shore up struggling households as the whopping rise in domestic energy prices begins to bite.

Financial analysts had predicted a rise in the rate of inflation to around 6.7 per cent but the Office for National Statistics revealed on Wednesday that it had gone even higher than predictions suggest.

The rate of inflation – the change in prices for goods and services over time – measures costs including consumer price inflation, producer price inflation and the House Price Index.

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It does not include energy costs which rose by 54 per cent at the beginning of April after regulator Ofgem allowed a rise in the consumer price cap apparently to accommodate rising wholesale energy costs for utilities companies.

Now Gavin, who represents Paisley and Renfrewshire North at Westminster, has hit out at the chancellor as campaigners are warning the UK faces a perfect storm of rising prices, reduced trade, and a flatlining economy, putting jobs and livelihoods at risk at the worst possible time.

He said: “With inflation rising to a staggering 30 year high, the Tory cost of living crisis continues to spiral out of control with no sign of the UK government stepping up to the challenge to protect families and households.

“The reality is that the Prime Minister and Chancellor are too distracted by scandals to get on with the day job of protecting people’s incomes and livelihoods.

“The broken Tory government’s inaction and neglect has piled on the pressure and pushed many into unmanageable levels of debt and poverty.

“Of course it won’t be people like Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson who are burdened by this crisis, rather ordinary households for whom slow wage growth and a complete lack of UK government support is preventing them from making ends meet.

Mr Newlands added: “Families across the UK shouldn’t be forced into making choices over whether to heat their homes or feed their children, but that is the grim reality of life under the Tories.

“The Tory government must come back to Parliament urgently with a real package of support to tackle the cost of living crisis. That must include, as well as the introduction of the Real Living Wage of £9.90 an hour, a reversal to Universal Credit cuts , an uplifting of benefits and the turning of the energy support loan into a more generous grant.

“In Scotland, the SNP government is using its limited powers to help families and tackle poverty, including by doubling the Scottish Child Payment and uplifting benefits by 6 per cent – the Tories in Westminster should be learning from this, not undermining our progress in Scotland .

“People in Scotland are being hammered by the poor decisions and inaction from this Tory government, it’s clear that only with the full powers of independence will we be able to protect families, boost incomes, and tackle poverty.”

We told in February how charity leaders hit out at the struggle Renfrewshire’s families are facing to survive the cost of the living crisis, while Terry McTernan of the Darkwood Crew, which works with vulnerable residents in deprived Ferguslie Park, warned: ““My genuine concern is that people are going to die over this.”

Johnson and Sunak

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a package of measures during his spring statement last month, which he said were aimed at making things easier for UK residents.

He cut five pence of government duty from the cost of a liter of fuel – from which the UK government takes almost 53 pence per liter – as well as announcing a £200 loan for hard-up residents to meet growing gas and electricity bills, which must be paid back.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted there are “no easy answers” to the scenario. His spokesman said: “He said there are no easy answers but the £22 billion being provided by Government would support those most in need.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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