Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has said we must start to turn the tide on the “injustice” of poverty in south Scotland.

Challenge Poverty Week 2022 began on Monday, as Scotland faces the worst cost of living crisis in years.

A new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has stated that nearly one in five households on low incomes in Scotland have gone hungry and cold this year, even before we enter the winter months. JRF said the current crisis “demands action from all tiers of government to avert the worst of this crisis, and time is short”.

Colin Smyth said: “The cost of living crisis is a national emergency on the scale of the pandemic – and dealing with it requires serious action from both of Scotland’s governments.

“A day rarely goes by now when I’m not contacted by families, businesses or local charities under huge pressure as their bills skyrocket and yet our Governments have been asleep at the wheel with a complete lack of help.

“The UK has been abandoned by a callous Tory government, which has taken a wrecking ball to the economy.

“The SNP rightly demand more from the Tories, but while they have taken some action, there is still much more they should and must do. It’s time they stopped focussing on what they can’t do and started doing what they can.

“This Challenge Poverty Week we need more than words from politicians – to turn the tide we need both our governments to rise to the challenge and act on their moral and economic duty to tackle this crisis.

“Labour have led the way from opposition, calling for a freeze on rents and energy bills, and to cancel school meal debt.

“As the JRF report shows, we now desperately need cross-government action, and that means Labour at all levels, to deliver the transformative change the UK needs.”

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