“The UK Government must stop passing the buck” says Midlothian Council Leader

Monday August 29th 2022


This View has been written by Kelly Parry, Midlothian Council Leader and Councillor (SNP) for Midlothian West.

The Tory government has “abandoned families and businesses” by refusing to use its reserved powers to deliver cost of living support.

It comes as Boris Johnson again sought to pass the buck to the next Prime Minister in an article for the Mail on Sunday, despite the news on Friday that the energy price cap is set to rise from £1,971 to £3,549 – with forecasts that household energy bills could hit an average £7,600 a year from next year.

It’s unforgivable that Boris Johnson has spent all summer clinging onto power, and cashing his pay cheques, while refusing to do the basics of his job as Prime Minister.

This is also putting significant strain on Council resources as energy bills, and other inflationary pressures, like the growing cost of PPP payments rise dramatically. This in turn will reduce the amount of money we have on hand to help people and fund core services, let alone the kind of vital services that we might need over the winter as the economic situation worsens and people struggle to find the means to eat or stay warm.

The Westminster government has ground to a halt and abandoned families and businesses by refusing to use its reserved powers to tackle the Tory-made cost of living crisis, despite admitting the UK is facing a state of emergency.

Households need help right now – and many businesses are on the verge of closing their doors. Charities and Community Organisations are faring no better, with many wondering how they will get through the winter, let alone be in a position to help our most vulnerable Midlothian residents. They can’t afford to wait weeks or months more, without knowing when, what or whether any meaningful support will come.

Whilst Midlothian Councillors have spent the summer forming and convening a Cost of Living Crisis Taskforce, the UK Prime Minister has been caught with his trotters up on holiday.

The UK government must now stop passing the buck, reverse the energy price cap rise, and recall parliament immediately to deliver an emergency budget that provides the support people need – including scrapping VAT on fuel, doubling support for households, and introducing an energy price cap and grants for businesses and Community Organisations.

The limited support currently available is a drop in the ocean compared to the tidal wave of soaring prices. With every day they fail to act, the Tories are demonstrating why Scotland needs to escape Westminster control and gain the full powers of independence.

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