House of Commons empties as Ian Blackford begins speech
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Writing on Twitter to his 1.2m followers, Andrew Neil, a Scottish journalist, said: “Breaking News on Chancellor’s Statement: SNP says it’s not enough. An unprecedented intervention by Scot Nats.” The comment comes after Rishi Sunak announced various grants for households and families across the UK as the cost of living continues to rise.
He announced the new measures on Thursday to help with the crisis in a statement to the House of Commons.
The chancellor commented on the “acute distress” that high inflation was causing for people across the country, telling MPS: “I know they are worried, I know people are struggling.
“We are meeting our responsibility to provide the most help to those on the lowest incomes. I believe that is fair and I’m confident the House will agree.
“But there are many other families who do not require state support in normal times, they are also facing challenging times. Is it fair to leave them unsupported? The answer must surely be no.
“While it is impossible for the Government to solve every problem we can and will ease the burden as we help the entire crisis through the worst of this crisis.”
He said the Government would provide “universal” support for all households, not just those on low incomes or benefits.
Those eligible will automatically be sent money when it is due, but SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has said the solution “is not enough”.
Some have accused Rishi Sunak of introducing his living support package as a “distraction” from Partygate.
When asked if this was the case, he replied: “I’m focused on delivering for people and that is what today was about.
“And the timing of today is because we now have more clarity about what is going to happen to energy bills in the autumn.
“We heard from Ofgem earlier this week about the potential scale of the increase.
“And that is why we took decisive action to provide £15bn worth of support to help the country get through the challenging months ahead.”
Last week Mr Blackford demanded Boris Johnson replaces the Treasury and Sunak for their failure to address the cost of living crisis.
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Mr Blackford said: “Every day this Prime Minister remains out of touch, people remain out of pocket.
“The Tory backbencher who thinks poor people just need cooking lessons. The Tory Minister who thinks that people should just get a better paid job. The Chancellor who thinks it would be silly to act now.
He added: “For weeks, the Prime Minister has been briefing that it’s the Treasury who are to blame for blocking financial support for struggling families.
“Well, Prime minister, it’s time to stop sniping from the sidelines.
“If this Chancellor won’t deliver an emergency budget, it’s time for the Prime Minister to sack the Treasury, to sack the Chancellor and to put somebody else in office.”
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