The Cost of Living Crisis
The Cost of Living Crisis
Scottish households are facing an unprecedented challenge when it comes to the cost of living crisis with the price of essentials soaring. There are various causal factors that have led to the dramatic increase in the cost of living, most of which can be linked to our continued membership in the UK.
Many of these problems could have been avoided, had the Scottish Government acted on the various electoral mandates for a second independence referendum. There are of course limits to what we can do under devolution, however, that does not mean the government should sit on its hands. Both the UK and the Scottish Government must act now to alleviate some of the pressures that families across Scotland are facing.
Scotland has been dragged out of the EU against the wishes of the people. Brexit has had a disproportionate impact on the Scottish economy, and it is estimated that it has left every Scot £1,200 worse off.
WAR IN UKRAINE
Energy prices have soared since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. This has dramatically impacted the price for Scottish consumers because the price of electricity is set on the international price of gas.
Scotland finds itself in the perverse position of being a net exporter of gas and a mass producer of clean, green, renewable electricity yet ordinary Scots have seen see their fuel bills reaching unaffordable levels.
UK GOVERNMENT MISMANAGEMENT
As a direct result of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous ‘Budget for Growth’, inflation has risen to the highest level in decades, exceeding 11% in October 2022. This has further exacerbated energy costs and has had a detrimental impact on ordinary families with the cost of some essential food items doubling in price.
The UK Government has also cut Universal Credit by £20 a week which has had a devastating impact on some of Scotland’s poorest households.
The ALBA Party understands that there are limits to what the Scottish Government can do under devolution to alleviate many of these pressures however there are a range of policies that the Scottish Government could be doing right now. We call on the Scottish Government to:
Implement the ALBA 5-point plan in full.
Fund a 50% reduction in household energy bills immediately.
Implement a range of progressive tax policies that result in those with more, paying more.
Establish a publicly owned energy company.
Deliver on the four mandates already given by the Scottish people to restore Scotland's independence.