“The only ‘silly’ thing here Mr Sunak, is you’re lacking a sense of reality.”

Tuesday May 17th 2022

Colin Beattie MSP
Colin Beattie MSP, Midlothian North & Musselburgh, writes his monthly column for Midlothian View

First, I must congratulate local club Bonnyrigg Rose on securing their promotion for next season to SPFL 2. This is a great achievement for the club who have worked tremendously hard to get where they are now. I know they would not have been able to achieve this without the ongoing support from their fans. I am pleased that we are able to celebrate this locally and look forward to seeing what they can achieve next season.

It is nice to have some positive news to celebrate as we all continue to face changing circumstances – especially with the cost of living crisis. I’m not aware of one person or family in my constituency that has not been directly impacted by the rising costs of living.

We know the Tories are able to do more to tackle to cost of living crisis but in the words of Chancellor Rishi Sunak, it is ‘silly’ for the UK Government to provide more support for struggling families at this present time.

Unfortunately, I do not see how providing help in any form is ‘silly’ but I do see quite clearly how much it is required by my constituents and people all over Scotland. I noted in a previous column that Rishi Sunak announced in his Spring Statement that there would be a 5p cut on fuel duty – whilst European countries such as France introduced a 15 cent-per-litre reduction. As we all feared, this 5p cut did not last long with RAC announcing last week that fuel prices are again forecasted to rise, and any measures implemented by the Tory government again do not go far enough to combat this cost of living crisis we are facing.

I, of course, cannot expect Rishi Sunak to understand what it is like to fill your own car and see on every visit to the petrol station the total amount getting higher and higher. Families and individuals who are budgeting down to the last penny of their hard-earned money cannot stretch their income any further than they are already doing. Yet, they are expected to under a Tory government who have no real understanding of the daily lives of its citizens.

It’s obvious – more measures are required to tackle the cost of living crisis and the Tory government at Westminster must consider more cuts on fuel duty if we are to have any hope in helping families across Scotland through this crisis.

The Scottish Government within its own devolved powers have provided all the help they can. The out-of-touch UK Government sit on their hands, turn their heads, and ignore the calls to provide further support. This firmly demonstrates the need for the Scottish Government to have full powers to build a fairer more equal Scotland for all.

The only ‘silly’ thing here Mr Sunak, is you’re lacking a sense of reality.

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