SNP and Conservatives were “asleep at the wheel” as cost of living hit South Lanarkshire households

The cost of living crisis has found the SNP and Conservative Governments asleep at the wheel, according to local Liberal Democrats.

South Lanarkshire will be hit by an average increase in energy costs compared to December 2020 of £1,189.92 – well above the Scottish average of £990. The figures come from analysis by the Liberal Democrats using figures from the Scottish Energy Hub.

South Lanarkshire Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Robert Brown said the energy rises on top of price rises for food, petrol and other costs amounted to an unprecedented undermining of family living standards on a scale not seen for generations.

Robert Brown, who represents Rutherglen South on the Council, said:

“The SNP and Conservative politicians who run the Scottish and United Kingdom Governments have had months to see this coming – months of opportunity to put in place policies to tackle the crisis. Unfortunately, they have been diverted by other priorities – either the SNP obsession with an irrelevant referendum or Boris Johnson’s self inflicted problems with Brexit and Partygate. As a result, the response in this country to the cost of living crisis has been inadequate and far less than in other European countries.

Families are facing a double whammy of soaring energy prices and rising mortgage payments. 

We need urgent and substantial action by both Governments working together.

Firstly, we need the funds to help households worst hit by the crisis – and that should have meant a windfall tax on the record profits of the oil and gas companies to fund a package of support. Instead the Government are giving people a repayable loan to hold down this year’s energy bills which needs to be paid back in future.

Secondly, we need a cost-of-living rescue package to save households on the brink and reassure all those worried about how they’re going to pay the bills.

Over the past few months, Scottish Liberal Democrats have set out a series of proposals for tackling the cost-of-living crisis from doubling the warm homes discount and insulating homes to bring down bills to boosting disability benefits.

The Scottish government has been given an extra £290m from Westminster and has other resources and levers of its own which can be used to help cut costs. Its main contribution so far has been to approve a record hike in train fares.”

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