The impact of the Tory cost-of-living crisis reaches far and wide, but it’s disproportionately impacting the poorest, most vulnerable members of society.
Here’s what it all means.
Rising energy prices
In the 2014 referendum and the 2016 Brexit referendum, the Tories promised cheaper energy bills.
🚨 The Tories’ cost of living crisis is hammering families across Scotland, with Westminster failures pushing up energy bills by almost £700.
🏴 Scotland was promised lower energy bills if we voted against independence and for Brexit. Now the Tory con trick has been exposed. pic.twitter.com/dCH4Z3j3lR
— The SNP (@theSNP) February 3, 2022
Citizens Advice Scotland found that one in three Scots find energy bills unaffordable – and shamefully, almost half a million people in Scotland have had to choose between heating and eating.
And Rishi Sunak’s response is simply a Tory con trick – instead of a discount or a grant to protect people from skyrocketing bills, he has merely introduced a £200 ‘buy now pay later’ loan.
It doesn’t even come to close to mitigating rising energy prices – let alone the cumulative impact of Tory cuts, Brexit and tax hikes on working people.
🏘️ Families now face a £693 energy bills rise from April, despite being told voting ‘No’ would mean lower energy bills.
📈 That’s on top of a cost of living crisis caused by Tory cuts, tax hikes and Brexit.
— Yes (@YesScot) February 3, 2022
Rising food prices
Campaigner and journalist Jack Monroe, in her viral Twitter thread, noted how the large price increases for household essentials – some of them over 100% in the space of a year – hit those on the lowest incomes the hardest.
Woke up this morning to the radio talking about the cost of living rising a further 5%. It infuriates me the index that they use for this calculation, which grossly underestimates the real cost of inflation as it happens to people with the least. Allow me to briefly explain.
— Jack Monroe (@BootstrapCook) January 19, 2022
- Last year, the cheapest rice in one of the Big Four supermarkets was 45p for a kilogram bag. Today it’s £1 for 500g. That’s a 344% price increase.
- Baked beans: were 22p, now 32p. 45% price increase.
- Canned spaghetti: was 13p, now 35p. 169% price increase.
- Bread: was 45p, now 58p. 29% price increase.
- Curry sauce: was 30p, now 89p. 196% price increase.
And alarmingly, the “worst is still to come” for food price rises, as Tesco’s boss John Allan told the BBC – estimating supermarket prices could rise by around 5% by the spring.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, added: “It is inevitable that retail prices will continue to follow in the future.”
The ‘worst is still to come’, the boss of Tesco has warned shoppers today amid the growing cost of living crisis across the UKhttps://t.co/olVdXrGGJH
— The Daily Record (@Daily_Record) February 6, 2022
The cost of Tory Brexit
People, businesses and communities are paying a heavy price for a hard Brexit we never voted for, imposed by a Tory government we never voted for.
And for all the economic disruption caused by Covid, the OBR – the UK government’s own financial body – predicts Brexit hits the economy twice as hard.
📉 Double the economic hit of Covid
📉 £12.6 billion hit from lost trade – in one month alone
📉 Every person facing an average £1,200 cost
The Tory Brexit is forcing all of us to pay the price. Keep track of the latest impacts:https://t.co/A24VfUe13O
— The SNP (@theSNP) December 13, 2021
Tory cuts: only making the problem worse
Despite the rapidly rising living costs under the Tories’ watch, the UK government ploughed ahead with a cruel £20/week cut to Universal Credit.
The move was the biggest cut to social security since World War Two – and slashed the incomes of over 480,000 families in Scotland overnight.
On top of all the pain caused by 11 years of Tory austerity, the Trussell Trust revealed that the scale of hardship caused by the Universal Credit cut, causing an estimated 1.2 million people to go hungry across the UK.
🚨 The UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak just cut Universal Credit by £1040 per year.
⚠️ One-third of households receiving Universal Credit will have their income slashed by 20% – pushing 60,000 Scots into poverty.
📢 We cannot trust the Tories to protect the people of Scotland. pic.twitter.com/CUxXDbOJA1
— The SNP (@theSNP) October 6, 2021
Tory austerity: slammed by the UN
The UN rapporteur on extreme poverty has called the Universal Credit cut “unconscionable”, adding that it effectively breaks human rights law.
Another UN figure, Prof. Philip Alston, accused the UK government of “systematic immiseration of a significant part of the British population” – while praising Scotland for taking a different approach.
— Patrick Butler (@patrickjbutler) September 16, 2021
Scotland is taking a different path on social security, despite limited powers
The Scottish Government is already protecting the people of Scotland from some aspects of UK austerity – for example, through mitigating the Tory bedroom tax.
With one hand tied behind its back, the Scottish Government has introduced a new social security system – with 11 new benefits such as the “game-changing” Scottish Child Payment, the only benefit of its kind in the UK.
However, around 85% of welfare expenditure remains reserved to Westminster – and damaging Tory policies like the Universal Credit undermine the progress we deliver in Scotland.
🚨 A decade of austerity and a hard Brexit are causing poverty and inequality to soar.
✂️ Now, the Tories’ Universal Credit cut will slash family incomes by £1,040 a year.
🥀 But Labour would rather put up with that, than accept Scotland’s right to choose a different future. pic.twitter.com/qnrcYv21jY
— The SNP (@theSNP) September 9, 2021
Here’s what the Tories must do now to tackle the crisis of their own making
To boost household incomes and reverse the rising levels of poverty, here’s what Rishi Sunak must urgently do:
- Launch a multi-billion pound Brexit Recovery Fund to compensate the growing cost of Brexit.
- Turn the £200 loan into a grant.
- Roll out a £20 per-week Child Payment across the UK – mirroring Scotland’s “game-changing” policy.
- Reinstate the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit.
- Introduce a Real Living Wage.
- Scrap the abhorrent rape clause, the benefits cap and the punitive sanctions regime.
👇🏼 It’s tale of two governments.
✂️ Tories preside over cuts and a cost of living crisis.
— The SNP (@theSNP) January 20, 2022
Tory MPs are too distracted by trying to save Boris Johnson – it’s time to deal with the real issues
More and more people are beginning to see that Westminster is utterly out of touch with the everyday struggles of people across Scotland – and the UK government doesn’t have any solutions for the cost of living crisis they’ve created.
Inflation is rising. Costs are soaring. Hard-pressed families are struggling because of Tory cuts.
It’s time the Tories stop focusing on saving Boris Johnson’s skin, and get on with the day job of helping families.
📈 The cost of living is skyrocketing – fuelled by Tory Brexit, Tory cuts, and rising energy bills.
🛑 While we all pay the price, they’re too busy trying to save Boris Johnson.
— The SNP (@theSNP) January 21, 2022