Budget Fails Cost-of-Living Test

Budget Fails Cost-of-Living Test

7th March 2024

Responding to the UK Budget, Citizens Advice Scotland Social Justice spokesperson Emma Jackson said:

“This Budget failed to meet the scale of the challenge of the cost-of-living crisis, and the legacy of debt and destitution it will leave.

“While measures to reduce the rate of National Insurance will help some people, and fixing the unfairness in the Child Benefit system for some households is welcome, there was a complete absence of the kind of support those on lower incomes need.

“What we needed to see today was a social tariff for the energy industry which delivered affordable deals for those on low incomes. We also should have seen reforms to Universal Credit, such as scrapping the system that forces people to wait 5 weeks for their first payment, pushing them into debt as the cost of essentials rise.

“Every single day across Scotland CAB advisers see the impact of this cost-of-living crisis on people’s lives. It means disabled people skipping warm meals to charge medical equipment, pensioners sitting in the cold and the dark, and parents cutting back on clothes or treats for their kids.

“Measures announced today around scrapping debt charges and the Household Support Fund don’t apply in Scotland.

“We would encourage the Scottish Government to use any additional funding from this Budget to invest in measures that will reduce poverty and support the cost of living – like investing in housing.

“If anyone is worried about the cost of living, money or bills they should seek advice from the CAB network. You can start at www.cas.org.uk/stressed. Last year people who saw a gain after seeking advice were over £3,700 better off. Our advice is impartial, confidential and free – we never charge for advice, and we never will.”