Stirling MP to Chancellor Hunt: Use UK Budget to Tackle Cost of Living Crisis


Categories: Constituency, Energy, Inequality, SNP Scottish Government, , UK Government (Westminster)

Focus on Energy Bills and State Investment Required

Local MP Alyn Smith has urged the UK Government to use the upcoming Budget to properly grip the cost of living crisis, and deliver a comprehensive package of measures aimed at sustainable economic growth, tackling sky-high energy bills and boosting household incomes.

Ahead of Wednesday’s budget, Stirling MP Alyn Smith has backed SNP proposals:

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.

Recent analysis from the IFS has identified additional headroom in the budget, as well as additional budget savings from the falling price of wholesale gas. Mr Smith is calling on the UK 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.

Alyn Smith MP said:

‘I urge the UK Chancellor to use the fiscal levers at his disposal to reverse some of the economic damage and mismanagement we’ve seen over 13 years on his party’s watch. Families could save up to £1400 per year if he chooses to slash energy bills and deliver a package of comprehensive support – funded by scrapping non-dom tax status, expanding the windfall tax and taxing share buy backs.

‘The 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. Scotland is a wealthy, energy-rich country – yet people remain freezing in their homes, faced with astronomical bills.

‘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 Stirling and Scotland.

‘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.

‘As ever, Scotland is suffering the consequences of Westminster control. The Tories trashed the economy with Brexit, austerity cuts and thirteen years of mismanagement. And with the pro-Brexit Labour Party becoming a pound-shop Tory 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