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A local MP has urged the UK Government to deliver real help as the cost of living crisis deepens.

The call came as new figures showed petrol prices reaching as high as 177p a litre in Renfrewshire, with costs elsewhere hitting nearly £2 a litre.

National Insurance payments are currently scheduled to increase by over 10% from next month, while food inflation is at its highest rate in over a decade.

And new research by the independent Resolution Foundation found that the poorest 10% of households will be hit hardest by increases in their day to day living expenses.

Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP, Gavin Newlands, made the call as the Chancellor prepares his spring statement for next week.

The statement will include an update on the economic forecasts produced by the UK Government’s Office for Budget Responsibility and gives the Chancellor the chance to change tax and spending policy for coming years.

With pressures on households finances at their greatest for decades, the SNP MP demanded action when the Chancellor gets to his feet next week.

Gavin said:

“The cost of living crisis is hitting every person in Scotland harder than anything we have seen before.

“Energy prices are already rising by over 50% and petrol and diesel costs are now at their highest level in history.

“Combined with increases in food costs – in part caused by the Tories’ kamikaze Brexit – and the Chancellor’s smash and grab raid on National Insurance rates, and it’s clear that thousands of households across Renfrewshire are facing unprecedented financial pressures.

“We need real action from the UK Government at the spring statement next week – not more spin and misdirection. Cutting Universal Credit was a mistake, hiking National Insurance is a mistake, and forcing people to borrow against their electricity bill is a mistake.

“The Chancellor has an opportunity next week to reverse these mistakes and get real help into the pockets of real people who desperately need it.

“The Scottish Government are doing what they can but with the real financial powers still lying with the Chancellor and his colleagues, they have the responsibility to ensure this crisis doesn’t become a catastrophe.

“A failure to act wouldn’t just be political cowardice, it would impact millions of people who need action now, not hot air.”


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