“The UK Government continue to be missing in action”

Monday August 22nd 2022

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

The UK Government continue to be missing in action as the cost of living crisis spirals on. A recent study from the University of York estimates 45 million Britons will be in fuel poverty and struggle to pay their energy bills this winter.

This study estimates that 72.8% of families in Scotland will be hit hardest throughout the tough winter months. 86.4% of pensioners couples and 90.4% of single parent households with two or more children will suffer greatly unless action is taken. These figures demonstrate the severity of the situation the country faces. The profiteering on display from the energy companies must be condemned.

The UK government are sleepwalking the country into a national emergency as they are clearly more interested in their leadership contest. Ofgem’s director has recently resigned as she doesn’t believe the UK Government aren’t doing enough to protect vulnerable families. Her resignation demonstrates that the UK Government could do more if they wished.

Unfortunately, the main economic levers to tackle the crisis lie with the UK Government. We need immediate action taken to ensure help is given to those who need it most. Borrowing powers, welfare, VAT on fuel, taxation of windfall profits and regulation of the energy companies all lie with the UK Government.

Despite this inaction from Westminster, Nicola Sturgeon is leading a crisis summit with energy companies, consumer groups to discuss what action can be taken to help those affected by rising energy costs.

I am pleased to see the Scottish Government taking action; however, more must be done within the parliaments remit to help struggling families through the winter months.

If you are facing uncertainty and concern over your energy bills, please seek advice from the Home Energy Scotland website, or contact the Dalkeith Citizens Advice Bureau on 0131 660 1636 to discuss advice and financial options available to you.

Please stay safe during these difficult times.

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