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Cost of Living Increases

Volume 737: debated on Wednesday 13 September 2023

13. What recent discussions he has held with the Scottish Government on the impact of increases in the cost of living on people in (a) the UK and (b) Scotland. (906291)

Our Government have taken assertive action on the cost of living. UK-wide support for households to help with higher energy bills is worth £94 billion, or £3,300 per household on average. The United Kingdom Government’s focus has been on supporting everyone with the cost of living with specific targeted support and tailored interventions for the most vulnerable.

I thank the Minister for his answer. He will know that, like his constituents, my constituents in Edinburgh West still face the impact of food inflation, higher energy bills and unfair standing charges for electricity. However, we also now face the potential bombshell of a council tax hike by the Scottish Government, which will affect 14,500 households in Edinburgh West that will have to pay more than £2,000 a year. Will the UK Government be speaking to the Scottish Government—[Interruption.] If SNP Members do not mind! Will the UK Government be speaking to the Scottish Government to try to mitigate this, and what steps do they have in mind to do so?

I share the hon. Lady’s concerns about the SNP-Green Government’s bombshell tax plans to hike up the tax burden for many households, with people already facing pressures on their household budgets. As she will know, along with the record block grant, the spring Budget provided the Scottish Government with an extra £320 million over the next two years, on top of the £1.5 billion of additional funding that we provided in the autumn statement of 2022. Our economic priorities of halving inflation and growing the economy are the most effective way of supporting her constituents.