We are fast approaching the UK budget and I am calling for the UK Government to prioritise putting money back into people’s pockets – they cannot continue to hammer household incomes during a Tory-made cost of living crisis.

Jeremy Hunt unveils his plans tomorrow, colleagues and I have called for a comprehensive package to boost household incomes and economic growth.

Scotland is a wealthy, energy-rich country, but families are being fleeced by Westminster. By refusing to act, the Tories show why Scotland needs independence, so we can escape Westminster control, rejoin the EU, and build a fair and prosperous economy.

The SNP’s five-point plan would reduce bills, raise incomes and boost economic growth when many families struggle to get by. But, with energy companies making record profits and the wholesale price of gas falling, there is no excuse for failing to act.

Families are sick to the back teeth of being ripped off by the Tory government, and we are challenging the Chancellor to deliver the SNP’s five-point plan:

  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 consequential 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 caused by Brexit.
  5. Investing in green growth – competing with EU and US subsidies to attract green investment.

In addition to the headroom identified by the IFS and the billions of pounds saved as a result of the falling wholesale price of gas, the SNP is also calling for the Chancellor to scrap non-dom tax status, tax share buybacks, and expand the windfall tax, which would raise billions more to fund the cost of living support for ordinary households.

In Scotland, the SNP 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.

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 consequential for Scottish spending.

This UK Budget is all about choices. Instead of making ordinary families pay for Westminster’s failure, the Tories must fund support by scrapping non-dom tax status, expanding the windfall tax and taxing share buybacks, which would raise billions.

And if we are serious about delivering economic growth and reversing the decline, the UK government must rejoin the European single market and adequately invest in green energy.