UK Budget Must Reverse Tory Cost of Living Crisis

UK Budget Must Reverse Tory Cost of Living Crisis

Published date : 14 March, 2023

The SNP has said "the number one priority for the UK budget must be to put money back into people's pockets" - warning the Tories can't continue to hammer household incomes. 
Ahead of tomorrow’s budget, Richard Thomson MP has urged Jeremy Hunt to deliver a comprehensive package to boost household incomes and economic growth for the North-east.     


Richard Thomson MP said "families are sick to the back teeth of being ripped off by the Conservative government " - and challenged the Chancellor to deliver the SNP's five point plan:  

1. Saving families £1400 on energy bills - by cutting the Energy Price Guarantee to £2000 and maintaining the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme to the summer.  

2. Raising public sector pay and benefits by CPI - putting money into the pockets of millions of workers and delivering Barnett consequentials for Scottish spending.  

3. Scrapping Tory plans to raise the pension age to 68, and reinstating the Triple Lock - so no one has to struggle in old age.  

4. Rejoining the European Single Market - to boost economic growth and halt the multi-billion pound long-term damage being caused by Brexit.  

5. Investing in green growth - by competing with EU and US subsidies to attract green investment.  


In addition to the headroom identified by the IFS, and the billions of pounds saved as a result of the falling wholesale price of gas, Mr Thomson is calling for the Chancellor to scrap non-dom tax status, tax share buy backs, and expand the windfall tax, which would raise billions more to fund cost of living support for ordinary households.  

Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:  

"The number one priority for the UK budget must be to put money back into people's pockets - and reverse this Westminster-made cost of living crisis.  

"Scotland is a wealthy, energy-rich country but families are being fleeced by Westminster.  By refusing to act, the Conservatives are showing why Scotland needs independence, so we can escape Westminster control, rejoin the EU, and build a fair and prosperous economy.  

"Families are sick of being ripped off. Instead of hammering household incomes, the Chancellor must save families £1,400 by slashing energy bills and deliver a comprehensive package of support.  

"The SNP's five-point plan would reduce bills, raise incomes and boost economic growth, at a time when many families are struggling to get by.  With energy companies making record profits and the wholesale price of gas falling, there is no excuse for failing to act.  

"The SNP Scottish Government is doing everything it can with limited fiscal powers, including delivering the Scottish Child Payment, higher energy bill support, and higher public sector pay.  

"The UK Government must finally step up to the plate and use its reserved powers to introduce a Real Living Wage and raise public sector pay and benefits by CPI.  In doing so, it would raise the incomes of millions of workers and deliver Barnett consequentials which would benefit the North-east.  

"This UK Budget is all about choices. Instead of making ordinary families pay for Westminster failure, the Conservatives must fund support by scrapping non-dom tax status, expanding the windfall tax and taxing share buy backs, which would raise billions.  

"And if we are serious about delivering economic growth and reversing decline, the UK government must rejoin the European single market and properly invest in green energy.  

"Scotland is suffering the consequences of Westminster control. The Conservatives trashed the economy with Brexit, austerity cuts and thirteen years of mismanagement.  And with the pro-Brexit Labour Party becoming a pound-shop Conservative tribute act, it’s clear independence is the only way for Scotland to secure the real change we need."  



Notes for Editors:  

European wholesale gas prices for 2023-24 are down 75 per cent from their summer peak.  

As a consequence, the Energy Price Guarantee will now cost the government £26.8 billion - this is down from a forecast of £42 billion last November  (Cornwall Insights analysis and comparison). 

So in effect, the UK government has underspent £15 billion since the EPG forecasts were first introduced.  

In terms of the full range of government energy supports since last October, the National Audit Office estimate the Treasury should also save a total of £50billion from original business case. Falling from £139 billion to £69 billion.   

Taxing share buy backs on major oil and gas companies is estimated by the IPPR to bring in £4.8 billion per year.  

Scrapping the non-dom tax status is estimated by the LSE to bring in £3.2 billion per year.  


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