Residents cutting back on essential groceries

Thursday October 13th 2022


Midlothian MP asking Prime Minister Liz Truss a question at Prime Minister's Questions yesterday.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Two-thirds of Midlothian residents are cutting back on essential groceries while one in four worry about needing to use food banks, local MP Owen Thompson has said.

Mr Thompson said new research by polling organisation Survation had revealed the difficult situations people in the county were dealing with.

And he criticised the UK Government for being “cloth-eared” saying: “We cannot allow this Tory government to destroy lives and tear up the fabric of communities across Scotland, for the benefit of a privileged few.”

The SNP politician was speaking after he had called on the Prime Minister to visit the county and take part in a cost of living drop in meeting he and local MSP Christine Grahame are hosting on Friday afternoon in Gorebridge.

Extending the invitation during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, yesterday, Mr Thompson asked Liz Truss to come and meet his constituents face to face to “apologise for the disastrous decisions her government is making”.

However Ms Truss hit back outlining the support the Government was providing.

She said: “I completely understand that families are struggling and that is why this Government acted within a week of coming into office to put in place the energy price guarantee so people aren’t facing £6,000 bills.

“That is why we reversed the increase in National Insurance, that is why we are cutting basic rate tax to make sure families are keeping more of their own money and we are also making sure the most vulnerable households get an extra £1200 of support.

“I hope he (Mr Thompson) is going to communicate that to his constituents.”

Following the exchange in which Ms Truss did not respond to the invitation to attend the drop in, Mr Thompson revealed the stark details of the recent survey.

He said: “More and more people are being pushed into poverty by the choices of this Conservative government.

“Their disastrous policies have caused the cost-of-living to skyrocket and damaged financial stability, threatening people’s incomes, mortgages and pensions.

“Recent polling by Survation has found that 66% of Midlothian residents are currently cutting back on essential groceries, and a quarter are worried about having to use a food bank.

“They are struggling to put food on their plates yet the Prime Minister expects them to be grateful for a half-baked cap on energy costs.

“We cannot allow this Tory government to destroy lives and tear up the fabric of communities across Scotland, for the benefit of a privileged few.

“They need to stop being cloth-eared to the critics and think again about a chaotic ‘growth plan’ which is only bringing a growth in food insecurity, homelessness, inequality and people stuck in a poverty trap.”

The cost-of-living drop-in event is being held tomorrow between 1-4pm at the Beacon in Gorebridge, Midlothian. Full details at:

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