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DOOGAN: LABOUR PARTY "ABANDONING FAMILIES AND LETTING TORIES OFF THE HOOK"

SARWAR UNDER PRESSURE TO BACK £400 ENERGY BILL REBATE

The SNP has urged Anas Sarwar to "get behind" its calls for the UK government to introduce a £400 energy bill rebate from October - warning "the Labour Party is abandoning families, and letting the Tories off the hook over the cost of living crisis, by remaining silent on this issue".

In a letter to Mr Sarwar today, the SNP Energy spokesperson Dave Doogan MP said the Labour Party was "making a political choice to leave millions of working families without the help they need by backing Tory spending cuts".

Over the summer, the Labour Party ruled out taxing the wealthy to fund cost of living support for millions of working families, and doubled-down on its opposition to scrapping Tory welfare cuts, including the two child cap, bedroom tax and benefit cap.

Last week, Rachel Reeves claimed "I don’t have any spending plans that require us to raise £12billion, so I don’t need a wealth tax or any of those things" but new analysis, published by the SNP on Monday, found reintroducing a £400 energy bill rebate for households from October 2023 to March 2024 would cost the UK government approximately £11.9billion - almost the exact amount Labour Party claims it doesn't need.

The research from the House of Commons Library, commissioned by the SNP, also found that scrapping the two child cap and bedroom tax would cost significantly less than the money Ms Reeves admits she is choosing not to raise by taxing the wealthy - despite previously admitting the Labour Party won’t abolish the Tory welfare cuts because "it's not something at the moment we have the finances to afford to be able to do." The cost of scrapping both policies is estimated to be between £1.85billion and £2.7billion for 2023/24.

In his letter, the SNP's new Energy spokesperson Dave Doogan MP says:

"Dear Anas,

"The SNP has challenged the UK government to reintroduce a £400 energy bill rebate for households, this October, to help families with the soaring cost of living in Brexit Britain.

"Damaging Tory and Labour Party policies, including Brexit and austerity cuts, have trashed the UK economy, hammered household incomes and left millions of families struggling to get by.

"With energy bills still around double what they were in 2021, standing charges rising, and families facing higher costs from mortgages, rents and bills than last winter, it's essential that an energy bill rebate is reintroduced to boost the incomes of people across Scotland.

"I was, therefore, disappointed to hear the Labour Party has ruled out taxing the wealthy to fund cost of living support for working families. It follows confirmation from your leader, Sir Keir Starmer, that the Labour Party would continue to impose Brexit and Tory welfare cuts, despite the damage to the economy, and the thousands of Scottish children being pushed into poverty, by these reckless Tory and Labour Party policies.

"People in Scotland rightly expect their political leaders to stand up for Scotland's interests. So, can I ask you whether you will get behind the SNP's calls for a £400 energy bill rebate - or will you leave families in the cold this winter? And isn't it the height of hypocrisy for the Labour Party to claim there is no money to reverse Tory welfare cuts, while at the same time ruling out measures that would raise more than enough funds to do so?

"The Labour Party is abandoning families, and letting the Tories off the hook over the cost of living crisis, by remaining silent on this issue. People in Scotland can see, very clearly, that the Labour Party is making a political choice to leave millions of working families without the help they need by backing Tory spending cuts.

"In contrast, the SNP will continue to pile the pressure on the UK government to help families with the cost of living - and we will make the case that independence is the only way for Scotland to escape Brexit, end Tory cuts and get rid of Westminster control for good.

"I look forward to your reply,

"Dave Doogan MP

"SNP Energy spokesperson"

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