Updated: Apr 17
Chancellor Rishi Sunak must use today’s Budget to “get a grip” of the cost-of-living crisis hitting families across East Dunbartonshire.
That is the message of local MP, Amy Callaghan, who has warned that Tory cuts, regressive tax hikes and the soaring cost of Brexit is leaving her constituents, businesses, and the local economy poorer and worse off.
The East Dunbartonshire MP said that a multi-million-pound recovery package to boost household incomes was “desperately needed” to support local families feeling the squeeze. This would include reinstating the £20 uplift to Universal Credit which would lift 1,483 children in East Dunbartonshire out of poverty, as well as an energy payment for low-income families amid spiralling energy costs that sees the cheapest deals today 50 percent higher than this time last year.
Child poverty is on the rise in East Dunbartonshire, despite Ms Callaghan’s constituency being one of the least deprived in Scotland. Currently 8.5 percent of children live in relative poverty, with 72.5 percent of those children coming from homes with at least one parent in work.
Commenting, Amy Callaghan MP said:
“The Chancellor must invest in our families and get a grip of the cost-of-living crisis hitting people in East Dunbartonshire and across these islands.
“We hear warm words from the UK government about levelling up and building back better, but so far it’s been nothing but hot air.
“In recent months, families in my constituency have been hit by a juggernaut of Tory austerity. The £20 uplift to Universal Credit has been cut, furlough support removed, and self-employment support ended – all the while inflation is up and energy prices are out of control.
“This is all during a global pandemic with unemployment in East Dunbartonshire still much higher than pre-pandemic levels.
“Minor adjustments to the minimum wage being floated by the Chancellor won’t come close to compensating families for the impact of the Universal Credit cut, let alone anything else. What’s being talked about falls far short of the radical action needed to reverse the Tory cost-of-living crisis, and it fails to deliver the help needed to get families through a tough winter.
“The Chancellor would do well to take a leaf out of the Scottish Government’s book and back up promises with real investment in families, like the £1bn that the Scottish Government has invested directly in supporting children over the last year.”