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Our Man In Westminster: Rising costs are part of a perfect winter storm of cuts to income and rising living costs as the same government that paid £200 million for a yacht will take this money out of the pockets of the poorest in society


By Andrew Dixon

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MP Drew Hendry is warning of a winter of discontent.
MP Drew Hendry is warning of a winter of discontent.

MP Drew Hendry argues that the UK government is ignoring its own internal advice warning of a “catastrophe” on the horizon for many local working families.

According to the UK government’s internal advice, a “catastrophe” is on the horizon for many of our local working families as we head into winter, and they are not wrong.

It is easy to dismiss the reports of inflation rising to 3.2 per cent as just another statistic; after all, we hear them all the time. However, these rising costs are part of a perfect winter storm of cuts to income and rising living costs.

The price hikes we already see in our weekly shop, fuelled by this inflation spike, will be turbo-charged with continued shortages of goods thanks to Brexit.

While costs continue to soar, household income is taking a hit.

Nearly 200,000 low-income Scottish families already face losing £20 a week due to the removal of the Universal Credit uplift. For many, this money is the difference between putting food on their table or not.

The Tory government know this and are pushing on regardless.

The same government that paid over £200 million for a yacht will take this money out of the pockets of the poorest in society. They will do this, knowing living costs are set to rise even further.

In the same month that families will lose £20 a week, Ofgem will raise the price cap on energy bills to the highest level ever.

People living in rural communities and the Highlands will join low-income families and pensioners as the worst hit.

The UK already has the highest electricity prices in Europe, and in the Highlands, we pay the most. Despite living in one of the most energy-rich regions in Europe, we pay more to share our electricity and even more to use it.

Despite generating around 100 per cent of our nation’s needs from renewable energy, more than 619,000 Scottish households will be in fuel poverty this year.

As people come out of the harsh winter, they will be hit by the National Insurance hike. At the same time, pensioners will see the “triple lock” lifted, meaning their pensions will not rise with inflation.

This is the union dividend – and it is cruel and avoidable. Make no

mistake, this Tory government is making choices, and it is the same set of choices they make time and time again.

There are billions for obscene Trident, but not for low-income families or to protect pensions. These are choices and we could make different ones.

Are you yes yet?

Related Story – More than 20,000 Highlanders reach out for support


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