East Dunbartonshire MP, Amy Callaghan, has slammed the Tory leadership candidates for their ‘silence’ on the cost of living crisis.
This comes as a new report from Citizens Advice Scotland underlines the struggles households across Scotland are facing, revealing that the need for food banks has grown by almost a third (31%) since September 2021.
The report calls on the UK government to immediately uprate Universal Credit and all legacy benefits, a suspension of sanctions, scrapping the benefit cap and the two-child limit, pausing the collection of all DWP and HMRC debts, and converting all Advance Payments at the beginning of Universal Credit claims into non-repayable assessment period grants.
Speaking following the release of the report, Amy Callaghan MP said the Scottish Government was making a real difference to those struggling with the cost of living crisis, through actions such as uprating devolved benefits and introducing the ‘game changing’ Scottish Child Payment, but claimed that ‘progress was being undermined by decades of Westminster austerity policies and Tory leadership candidates ignoring the scale of the problem’.
Commenting, Amy Callaghan MP said:
“It’s awful to see such a sharp increase in foodbank use in a country as wealthy as Scotland. Yet, sadly, it’s not surprising that families in East Dunbartonshire are struggling to get by as prices continue to rise while Westminster fails to take any meaningful action to help.
“Rather than discuss ways to lift the burden from families across the UK, the Tory leadership hopefuls are more interested in throwing mud at each other and criticising the record of the UK government – the same government in which both candidates held senior positions.
“Collective responsibility seems to have gone out the window.
“Unfortunately, one of Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss will be the next prime minister, yet we’re none the wiser how – or even if – they plan to tackle the cost of living crisis.
“But should it really surprise us given Rishi Sunak and his wife are worth an estimated £730 million and Liz Truss previously described the mega-wealthy as “heroes”?
“People in East Dunbartonshire, and indeed across Scotland, deserve so much more than yet another completely out of touch Tory prime minister they didn’t vote for. They deserve a different future where the powers of independence would allow us to tackle head on the challenges of child poverty and the cost of living, and build the fairer, wealthier and happier country we all want to see. A happier future within the EU.”