Scotland council elections: SNP and Tories are failing public over cost-of-living crisis. Labour would do so much more – Ian Murray MP

As voters across Edinburgh and Scotland head to the polls, I know the cost-of-living crisis will be at the forefront of their mind.
Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon both don't seem to understand the severity of the cost-of-living crisis (Picture: Jane Barlow/PA)Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon both don't seem to understand the severity of the cost-of-living crisis (Picture: Jane Barlow/PA)
Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon both don't seem to understand the severity of the cost-of-living crisis (Picture: Jane Barlow/PA)

People are working harder, and paying more, but getting less.

This week, when pay packets were squeezed even further by a Tory tax rise taking your tax contributions to their highest level in 70 years, we learned what the Tory solution to the cost-of-living crisis is.

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They told 77-year-old Elsie who rides the bus all day to keep warm that she should simply be grateful for her free bus pass.

They told families to switch to supermarket own-value brands despite those rising by the largest amount.

And while energy giants announced “incredible” profits, they swept the whole issue under the carpet and suggested it was “silly” to provide more support for people struggling with energy bills.

They’re out of touch, as Boris Johnson confirmed by not knowing who Lorraine Kelly is.

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But more importantly they’re out of ideas. And we need them out of government at all levels.

With prices soaring, the Prime Minister is choosing to make the UK the only major economy hiking taxes on workers and businesses amid a cost-of-living crisis.

He treats our nation's most vulnerable with contempt.

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Working people will pay billions more in tax while the Tories’ “cost-of-living committee” takes a holiday.

At this election, Scottish Labour is putting the cost-of-living crisis front and centre because that’s what matters to people.

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We’re giving the people of Scotland the chance to elect local champions who will protect and support their communities.

This plan includes a one-off windfall tax on the excess profits of oil-and-gas companies to cut home energy bills by up to £600 and a £400 fuel-cost payment so people don’t have to choose between heating and eating.

It took BP just 67 seconds to earn in profit what the average Scot earns in a year – driven by this energy crisis. Yet the Tories and the SNP still oppose a windfall tax on oil and gas profits.

While Boris Johnson says no, Nicola Sturgeon simply shrugs her shoulders. They’re both letting Scotland down. Neither of Scotland’s governments understand how bad things are.

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Every part of government, from local councillors to the First and Prime Ministers, must be focused entirely on protecting the financial well-being of citizens and bringing bills down. No one should be left cold or hungry or both.

Unfortunately, the crisis is being exacerbated by government choices.

Despite calls for a U-turn, the SNP has increased rail fares, upped water charges and forced councils to raise council tax.

The SNP’s flagship cost-of-living policy of a £150 council tax rebate amounted to little more than a tweaked version of the Tories’ flawed plan, giving households £15 off their inflated monthly bills for ten months – equivalent to less than £4 a week.

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In contrast, combined, Scottish Labour’s plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis would deliver over £1,000 of support to those who need it most.

Whether it be locally or nationally, Labour can do so much more than oppose the Tories and the SNP; we can replace them.

A vote for Labour today is a vote to send both governments a message they can’t ignore.

Because everyone deserves better.

Ian Murray is Labour MP for Edinburgh South