Cost-of-living crisis leaving people terrified to open bills, Sturgeon says

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon hit out on the issue ahead of launching her party’s campaign for May’s local elections.

07 April 2022

Nicola Sturgeon has accused Boris Johnson’s Tories of “disgraceful inaction” on the cost-of-living crisis, which she said has left people “terrified to open their bills”.

The Scottish First Minister and SNP leader will challenge the Conservatives on the issue as she launches her party’s campaign for next month’s council elections on Friday.

Ms Sturgeon will pledge that SNP councillors will “prioritise the cost-of-living crisis” with action at a local level.

She said the May 5 ballot was a chance to people to make their voice heard on the issue – as well as “send a message to Boris Johnson that Scotland has had enough of his incompetent, sleaze-ridden government”.

The local government elections come at a time when households are facing rising energy bills, increasing food costs as well as a rise in national insurance contributions.

Ms Sturgeon said: “These elections come at a time when families are facing a Tory-made cost-of-living crisis, unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes.

“People are struggling to pay for their shopping and are terrified to open their bills.”

She added: “The SNP Scottish Government is already doing what we can to ease the burden on hard-pressed families and, if elected, SNP councillors will prioritise the cost-of-living crisis in Scotland’s council chambers.

“But we cannot let the Tories away with disgraceful inaction while households are forced into poverty.”

She urged people to “vote for SNP councillors who’ll work tirelessly for local communities and local services”.

Ms Sturgeon told Scots: “Cast a verdict on Tory policies that leave hundreds of thousands of Scots struggling with their daily lives.

“And cast your vote to send a message to Boris Johnson that Scotland has had enough of his incompetent, sleaze-ridden government.”

The campaign launch comes the day after Scottish Labour unveiled its manifesto for the May 5 council elections, with leader Anas Sarwar saying the vote would be a “cost-of-living election”.

Meanwhile Scottish Conservative local government spokesman Miles Briggs said: “This is the same tired old slogan that the SNP trot out at every election.

“Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP really have become a broken record.

“The First Minister has some front trying to pin the cost-of-living crisis on the UK Government, when the SNP have just received a record block grant from the Chancellor and enjoy huge powers over benefits which they choose not to use fully.”

He added: “Much of the cost-of-living crisis stems from soaring global energy prices, yet the SNP Government are opposed to further North Sea oil and gas extraction and the use of nuclear power, both of which would safeguard our energy security and limit price rises.

“I don’t know how Nicola Sturgeon can say with a straight face that people should vote SNP to protect local services when her government has presided over year after year of savage cuts to local authority funding.”

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