The SNP has called on the UK Government to continue the cost of living payments amidst reports that five million people are in a negative budget.
The report by Citizens Advice reveals the number of people in the red has jumped from 3.25 million people in 2020 to 5 million in 2024 - this includes 1.5 million children living in a household that has more money going out than coming in.
This week eight million people will receive their final cost of living instalment of £299, with no further payments planned despite the SNP and charities urging the government to consider more financial support.
The SNP has called on the UK Government to implement a range of measures to address the cost of living, including reintroducing the £400 energy rebate, reintroducing mortgage interest relief, abolishing the abhorrent two child cap and mirroring the 'game-changing' Scottish Child Payment.
Commenting, the SNP's Social Justice Spokesperson, David Linden MP said:
"We are not out of the woods yet when it comes to this Westminster made cost of living crisis, as this report by Citizen's Advice shows, with far too many people in a negative budget and falling into financial hardship.
"Whilst the majority of welfare powers remain at Westminster, the UK Government has a duty to take action to properly support people as they continue to struggle to heat their homes and put food on the table in the face of this cost of living crisis.
"And it cannot just be a sticking plaster - people need long-term support to help them with the debt they have been forced to accrue throughout the crisis even when inflation and interest rates start to come down.
"In contrast, the SNP Scottish Government is doing what it can to support people including lifting 90,000 children in Scotland out of poverty with the Scottish Child Payment and protecting Scottish families from Westminster's bedroom tax and housing benefit cap.
"However, there is only so much progress that Scotland can achieve whilst the Tory government is undermining our efforts. The only way to guarantee a Tory-free Scotland and ensure Scotland's voice and values are truly represented at Westminster is by voting for the SNP at the next general election."
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