The UK government must do more to support struggling families in East Dunbartonshire.
That is the message of East Dunbartonshire MP, Amy Callaghan, who has criticised the Chancellor’s recent Autumn Statement for failing to address the soaring cost of household bills.
Ms Callaghan and her SNP colleagues had pushed the Chancellor to include a £400 energy bill rebate, mortgage interest tax relief, and measures to bring food prices under control in his Autumn Statement. None of these measures were included, with focus instead on a reduction in the rate of National Insurance.
The cost of living crisis has led to the highest number of emergency food parcels delivered from East Dunbartonshire’s foodbanks since records began, with 3,221 handed out between April and September. East Dunbartonshire has also seen a 38 percent rise in homelessness.
Ms Callaghan recently joined forces with fellow SNP parliamentarians Rona Mackay MSP and Stuart McDonald MP to hold a cost of living support event. This gave families and residents an opportunity to meet with support and advice agencies.
Commenting, Amy Callaghan MP said:
“At every advice surgery I hold, I hear stories of people really struggling with the cost of living crisis. Energy bills, mortgages, rents and food prices are all soaring, and the limited support provided by the UK government won’t even touch the sides for most households.
“While the Chancellor will shout about reducing National Insurance, the reality is taxes remain higher now than in 2019 with a 3.5 percent drop in living standards thrown in. This was another disastrous Autumn Statement for Scotland, and a missed opportunity to get support to families and residents in time for the colder months.
“We know that most people are still seeing their household costs increase each month. We know that 40 percent of people experienced anxiety because of their financial situation in the last month. And we know that a quarter of people have sought support from the NHS because of the impact of the cost of living crisis on their health.
“That is why I am calling on the UK government to go back to the drawing board and come up with a meaningful package of support for people in East Dunbartonshire.”