The rise in energy bills could not have come at a worse time.

Just as the nights get colder, the price cap has risen by 12 per cent, adding £139 to bills for the average dual fuel household.

The increase coincides with the end of furlough, which has left hundreds of thousands of workers in limbo, and the Tories’ extraordinarily cruel decision to end the £20 uplift in Universal Credit.

With inflation accelerating – just look at petrol prices which have hit an eight-year high – there is a very real cost-of-living crisis sweeping the country.

Boris Johnson, attending his party’s conference in Manchester, doesn’t care much.

That’s not surprising when £20 would barely pay for a sip of his favourite Italian wine.

He’s even preparing a tax rise next year for nurses and shopworkers.

I was at Labour’s conference in Brighton last week and the contrast with Keir Starmer couldn’t be starker.

The Labour leader put forward a serious alternative plan for government, with work, care, equality and security at its heart.

That’s why we need to get into government to deliver fairness for Glasgow and every community in the UK.

But when people are facing a choice between heating and eating, there is local and national action that can be taken right now.

Back in 2011, Labour council leader Gordon Matheson recognised the importance of caring for the most vulnerable in our city – and the challenges faced by many to afford their heating bills.

He announced a £100 affordable warmth dividend to everyone in Glasgow over 80 and on Pension Credit, supporting 11,000 citizens.

Labour wasn’t prepared to stand by and allow another winter of hardship for our elderly.

The scheme had widespread support and was later extended to all over 80s, helping more than 15,000 people.

“This payment can make a huge difference to help those in our community who are most likely to struggle with fuel poverty. In some cases, it can literally be a lifesaver.”

The words not of a Labour politician, but SNP council leader Susan Aitken in 2017.

But in March of this year, it was announced that the SNP and Green budget deal would see the payment scrapped.

I spoke out against this cut – one of many brutal cutbacks by this administration – yet the SNP insisted the payment would be replaced by the Scottish Government.

City Treasurer Ricky Bell said: “We feel we can take away the affordable warmth because it is being replaced by the Scottish Government. This is part of a strategy to get more money into Glasgow.”

Well, with community centres closed and libraries shut, that plan hasn’t worked.

And worse than that – there is no sign of a replacement for the affordable warmth dividend.

A broken promise to the people of Glasgow.

The UK-wide Winter Fuel Payment, which is currently worth between £100 and £300 to pensioners, has been frozen since 2011.

But the Scottish Parliament has the power to take action to raise Winter Fuel Payments and alleviate pensioner fuel poverty.

That’s why Scottish Labour has called on Nicola Sturgeon to provide a £70 supplement to low-income pensioners.

This would help mitigate against the immediate pressures too many of our elderly citizens are facing on their fuel bills as we head into the colder months.

The most vulnerable in our city deserve better than the SNP’s broken promises – they deserve the support they need this winter.