SNP MSP for the Highlands & Islands Emma Roddick has spoken out in the Scottish Parliament on the differences in the approach being shown by the UK and Scottish Governments in tackling the cost-of-living crisis.
Speaking in a debate on the issue, Roddick contrasted the Scottish Government’s raising of the Scottish Child Payment and delivery of twelve new benefits through Social Security Scotland against the UK Government’s apparent prioritisation of economic growth and tax cuts for the highest earners “over making sure that people in the UK do not have to face the heart-breaking choice of heating or eating.”
Roddick made clear that whilst the Scottish Government was acting by freezing rent and rail fares, increasing the provision of free school meals and widening the Warmer Homes Fuel Poverty Programme, it was vital that the UK Government greatly increased its own levels of support to households.
Commenting, Roddick said:
“The difference of approach between the UK and Scottish Governments is now so stark that I struggle to see how anyone can deny it. One government does what it can to support people through a cost-of-living crisis, whilst the other strives above all else to make itself and its donors richer. One government attempts to use its limited resources to lift children out of poverty, whilst the other contemptuously insists that it won’t refer to ‘handouts’ – as if handing food to a hungry bairn is a bad thing.
“The Scottish Government has used the restricted devolved powers it has to bring forward a number of vital initiatives which will provide crucial support to households during this increasingly difficult time. However, the simple fact is that the powers to act on the necessary scale are widely reserved to the Westminster Parliament.
“The UK and Scottish Governments have a fundamental and ideological difference about the type of society we should be. Scots want to live in a country which is compassionate, fair and outward-looking. How many election losses will it take for the Tories to realise that their insular conservative politics are simply not winning the hearts and minds of people in Scotland and that we are hungry for the choice of something better?”