Woman looking sullenly at a bill

Scottish Government announce cost of living measures

The Scottish Government has announced some important plans to help people cope with the current cost of living crisis, as part of the 2022-23 Programme for Government.

A rent freeze will be combined with a moratorium on evictions to support people through the ongoing crisis, whilst a ‘one-stop-shop’ website will also be introduced. The website will be able to provide people with information on a range of benefits and support available to them.

Scottish Child Payments will also bee increased to £25 per week for every eligible child, from the 14th November. This is when it will open to all under 16’s.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister, said:

“The Programme for Government is published in the context of the most severe cost crisis in many of our lifetimes. It is a crisis pushing millions into poverty and poses a genuine danger, not just to livelihoods, but to lives.

“The Scottish Government is already committed to a range of measures, worth almost £3 billion, that will help with rising costs. But the magnitude off what is being experienced by people and businesses means that mitigation is nowhere near sufficient. What is needed now is action on a scale similar to the initial Covid response.

“Regrettably, the powers to act in the manner and on the scale needed do not lie with this Parliament. In my view, they should lie here. If they did, we could have acted already, but they don’t. These powers are reserved to Westminster.

“The cost crisis means this Programme for Government is more focused than ever before – deliberately so – with priority actions to provide help now.

“To that end we will provide more help for people who may be at risk of self-rationing or even self-disconnection from their energy supply and we will double the Fuel Insecurity Fund to £20 million this year.

We will also propose emergency legislation to put in place a rent freeze until at least March and a moratorium on evictions.

“Given the powers to act in the manner and on the scale needed do not lie with this Parliament, this Programme for Government also provides for a Scottish Independence Referendum Bill. Independence would give us – like it does other independent countries – the levers we desperately need to respond to a crisis such as this. That’s the prize we surely must grasp.”

This programme also includes free school meals across all primary school age groups, alongside the doubling of the Fuel Insecurity Fund, the freezing of rail fares and the widening of the Warmer Homes Fuel Poverty Programme.

This Programme for Government sets out 18 new bills in total, with other subjects coming into focus, such as reforms to the justice system.

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