Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Sarwar: Both governments leaving people ‘economically vulnerable’

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar addressed the cost-of-living crisis during a visit to Helensburgh on Saturday (Jane Barlow/PA)
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar addressed the cost-of-living crisis during a visit to Helensburgh on Saturday (Jane Barlow/PA)

Years of political and economic failure by both of Scotland’s governments have left people “economically vulnerable”, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said.

The MSP said both the Scottish and UK governments were “not doing anywhere near enough” to support people through the cost-of-living crisis.

It comes as the Office of National Statistics (ONS) conducted research between November 2021 and March 2022 on the impact of the cost-of-living.

The data revealed 30% of Scots were spending less on food or essentials, 31% reported using less electricity and 13% said they had to borrow money – before the April energy price cap increase or national insurance hike came into effect.

Mr Sarwar said the data was worrying given that more than one fifth – 22% – of Scottish households went into the pandemic with no savings, according to the Scottish Household Survey which was last recorded in full in 2019.

And this rose to 34% among households with an income of less than £20,000 per year and to 60% among single parents.

Ahead of the Scottish council elections on Thursday May 5, the Scottish Labour leader said SNP and Conservative inaction was causing a “tsunami of debt”.

He said: “Years of political and economic failure by two incompetent governments left far too many households living pay cheque to pay cheque, with no savings to break their fall.

“For far too long these governments have done too little to tackle hardship and poverty – and even now, when things are worse than ever, they are still falling short.”

And speaking to the PA news agency on Saturday while on the campaign trail in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, Mr Sarwar said his party’s plans could save households over £1,000.

Instead, both government’s are turning it into a constitutional fight of Scotland versus the UK, which Mr Sarwar said “is frankly shameful”.

He told PA news agency on Saturday: “They are absolutely making (the cost-of-living crisis) worse.”

He added: I think the people understand the cost-of-living crisis is the number one issue – they can see Labour has put this issue at the forefront of our work over the last number of months.

“We’ve been calling for action about this for a long period of time – well before the cost-of-living crisis started.

“We are demanding action in the UK and the Scottish Government, but alongside that we’re saying councils need to get the basics right around cleansing services, fixing the roads.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “We understand that people are struggling with rising prices, and while we can’t shield everyone from the global challenges we face, we’re supporting British families to navigate the months ahead with a £22 billion package of support this financial year.

“That includes saving the typical employee over £330 a year by raising the National Insurance Contribution threshold, lowering the Universal Credit taper rate to help people keep more of the money they earn, and providing millions of households with help to tackle rising energy bills.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said almost £770 million is being invested to tackle the cost-of-living pressures.

The spokesperson added: “We have also taken significant action to support people through our measures to tackle child poverty, including the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment, which doubled to £20 per week this month.

“We have repeatedly urged the UK Government to show the same level of ambition and take urgent action to address the cost of living crisis and provide adequate to support to households in need.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier Politics team

More from The Courier