DESPITE it only being Wednesday, even by Westminster’s standards, we have reached a new low in this cost-of-living crisis. 

Whilst Scotland was hammered by Storm Isha on Sunday night, households across the country continue to be hammered by a bigger problem – the Westminster-made cost-of-living crisis.

Between campaigning across the East End, catching up on constituency casework and voting in Westminster, I managed to find some time to sit down and read several pieces of research which were published this week. And the findings make for harrowing reading.

A Joseph Rowntree Foundation report revealed that those on the lowest incomes would need to double their income in order to escape poverty.

The analysis showed that the poverty gap has nearly doubled since the mid-90s, with a couple with two children under 14 in poverty now needing an additional £6200 per year to reach the poverty line, with families in very deep poverty needing £12,800 to reach the poverty line.

In contrast, the report did reveal that Scotland had a “much lower” child poverty rate of 24% compared to 31% in England and 28% in Wales – with the Scottish Child Payment playing a key role.

For those of you that read my column, you will know that I am no stranger to mentioning the Scottish Government’s flagship policy. Hailed as game changing, lifting nearly 90,000 children out of poverty, it has once again proved to have made a tangible difference in the lives of families across Scotland.

My call is very simple: the UK Government must replicate the Scottish Child Payment across the UK as a matter of urgency, to prevent more families falling into poverty.

We are in a position where now, more than ever, it is clear that Westminster cannot be trusted to tackle poverty.

Moreover, new research from the Centre for Cities think tank demonstrated the impact of continued Westminster control in Scotland. The analysis found that the average person in Scotland has missed out on £23,370 in disposable income, based on 1998-2010 predicted trends – £13,170 higher than the UK average.

Another report published this week revealed that 40,000 disabled people in Scotland have been forced to skip meals to charge essential medical equipment.

Once again, due to a draconian Westminster establishment intent on punishing those who have the least, vulnerable households in Scotland are paying the price for the failures of this British government.

I am left wondering how different things may be in an independent Scotland, where politicians would understand and empathise with the reality households face.

While the British government sits firmly on its hands, ignoring SNP calls to tackle the cost-of-living crisis that continues to plague your purse, I will continue working every day to address the concerns of my constituents.

In a debate I held two weeks ago about the cost-of-living crisis, I compared the UK’s social security system (once hailed as a safety net for those who needed it) to now resemble nothing more than a frayed rope, unable to bear the weight of the individuals who rely on it as a lifeline.

And after reading these reports, I have never been more assured in my assessment of the state of the social security policies enforced by this cruel Tory government.